Ex-Newcastle United owner and long-time Tory donor Sir John Hall dumps party for Nigel Farage’s Reform

The former owner of Newcastle United and a long-time donor to the Conservatives Sir John Hall has endorsed Nigel Farage’s Reform UK.

Sir John told ITV that the Tories “are not representing my views” and Reform will “fight for my English rights and customs”.

He added that he "doesn’t join parties, but will donate to Reform".

Sir John, who helped fund Theresa May’s disastrous 2017 election, has given more than £500,000 to the Conservatives.

But he said he was a “disillusioned Conservative,” adding: “I just feel in these latter years, they’ve let me down.”

Sir John Hall (Getty Images)
Sir John Hall (Getty Images)

He added: “I supported, both personally and financially, the Conservative Party in the North East for decades but now, I see the only party, and the only politician to have the interests of Great Britain at its heart is Reform UK and Nigel Farage.” Polls suggest the upstart party could take seats at the general election. Mr Farage has urged people to "vote with your heart" if they believe in his message. On a visit near Sunderland: "The polls at the moment show were second place to Labour in (lots of) seats."

He added: "What I'm saying to people here is... vote with your heart.

"If you believe in what I say, if you believe I'm standing for the right things, if you believe that I'm your champion, vote for us and we can win some of these.”

His comments came as a new MRP poll forecast Reform UK is on course to win 18 seats next week.

The Find Out Now and Electoral Calculus survey of almost 20,000 voters, conducted between 14 and 24 June, also predicted Reform would take 17 per cent of the vote share, compared to the Tories’ 15 per cent.

The findings come after Mr Farage was accused of “cuddling up to the Kremlin” and his Reform party of poisoning the election debate.

Nigel Farage said the West ‘provoked’ the war in Ukraine (PA Media)
Nigel Farage said the West ‘provoked’ the war in Ukraine (PA Media)

Earlier this week military experts queued up to criticise his claim that the West provoked Russia’s war on Ukraine.

It follows days of condemnation both nationally and internationally over Mr Farage’s comments, made in a BBC interview last Friday night.

He told a Panorama special that “we provoked this war” in Ukraine, adding that the European Union’s expansion, as well as Nato, had provided Putin with an “excuse” for his invasion.

The former Ukip leader pulled out of the high-profile interview the previous week after his party faced a row over whether the UK should have appeased Hitler.

It came less than 24 hours after it emerged one of his candidates claimed the country would have been “far better” off if it had “taken Hitler up on his offer of neutrality” instead of fighting the Nazis.

Holly Valance at the Reform UK press conference (Yui Mok/PA Wire)
Holly Valance at the Reform UK press conference (Yui Mok/PA Wire)

Ian Gribbin, who is standing in Bexhill and Battle, also described Winston Churchill as “abysmal” and praised Russian president Vladimir Putin, according to the BBC. In March the Conservative candidate in the Greater Manchester mayoral election defected to Reform.

Last week it was announced a Muslim entrepreneur Zia Yusuf has donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to Reform.

Party sources also claim former Neighbours star Holly Valance has helped the party raise £1.5m within days of Mr Farage’s return as leader during this election campaign.