Give UKIP chief Farage peerage to boost UK-Trump relations, says influential Tory MP
The chairman of the Conservative Private Members’ Committee, Graham Brady, argued it was hard to explain why Farage’s UK Independence Party (UKIP) had no representation in the House of Lords, despite raking in four million votes in last year’s general election.
“Given we have fallen into the habit of saying that there is a relationship between the new appointments and the votes cast at the last general election – which is why the Lib Dems were given a ridiculous large number of peers under David Cameron’s administration – the fact that UKIP got nearly four million votes at the general election makes it pretty hard to justify not allowing them some representation in the Upper House,” Brady said during an University College London Conservative Society event on Thursday.
“If you are going to have that system, you’ve got to be seen to be fair,” he stressed.
As far as Farage’s transatlantic career is concerned, Brady added: “Do I think it’s a bad thing if Nigel Farage is spending time in Washington encouraging them to be pro-British? No I don’t. I am quite relaxed about it.”
He did quash the idea of UKIP’s interim leader playing a “formal role” as a UK-US liaison, however.
The highly influential MP was responsible for this year’s Tory leadership race and seemed rather happy with the results, praising Theresa May’s “calm” premiership.
He also believes MP Douglas Carswell, who defected to UKIP from the Conservatives, should be allowed to return to the Tory benches, as “he’s a decent and principled person with very strong beliefs.
“I think it’s been fairly obvious Douglas Carswell hasn’t been entirely comfortable in UKIP and doesn’t get on very well with ‘Lord’ Farage.’ I think maybe he will get to the point he would like to come back to us. I would be open minded.”
While he thinks his party is “set fair at the moment,” Brady also believes that the Conservatives are heading towards a “collective act of insanity” and will “pull itself apart.”
On Thursday, Scottish National Party (SNP) House of Commons leader Pete Wishart poked fun at Farage’s chances of being awarded a peerage.
“With the imminent ennoblement of the Dark Lord Farage, it seems like the only intention this Government therefore has for the House of Lords is just to increase the numbers of that grotesque place down the corridor,” he said.