Farage would be carrying Trump's bags around US if Sunak had called autumn poll, says top Tory

Farage would be carrying Trump's bags around US if Sunak had called autumn poll, says top Tory

Nigel Farage would have been carrying Donald Trump’s bags around America during the UK’s election if Rishi Sunak had called it for the autumn, a senior Tory has said.

Lord Barwell, who was No10 chief-of-staff to Theresa May, said calling the election for July had been a “terrible mistake”.

Many Tory MPs were stunned at the time when the PM announced the poll.

Mr Farage, who was planning to head to the US to support Trump’s bid for a White House comeback, shortly afterwards did a dramatic U-turn and took over as leader of Reform UK.

The party has surged in the polls putting the Tories facing a possible historic defeat.

The peer argued that the Prime Minister had a “duty to the party” to “undo as much of that damage” as he could in the run-up to the July 4 polling day.

Lord Barwell, a former Croydon MP, told ITV’s Peston show: “If he’d waited until the Autumn, Nigel (Farage) would be off carrying Donald Trump’s bag around America.

“You wouldn’t have the issue we have now.

“So he made a serious mistake, but he has a duty to the party and to all the candidates out there to undo as much of that damage as he can and he’s got two-and-a-bit weeks left to do that and he’s got to get out there every day and make the argument.”

In London, Reform is on 10 per cent in the 20 seats that the Conservatives are defending, and its rise has put more of them at risk of being won by Labour.

The Standard has published an interactive map with all the key battleground and other seats in the capital.

An Ipsos MRP poll on Wednesday showed the Tories losing all but four seats in the capital; Orpington, Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, Romford, and Sutton and Cheam.

A second MRP poll later that day by YouGov put the Conservatives holding just six; Bromley and Biggin Hill, Finchley and Golders Green, Hornchurch and Upminster, Orpington, Romford, and Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner.

They would be wiped out in Inner London for the first time ever, losing Cities of London and Westminster, Chelsea and Fulham, and the new constituency of Kensington and Bayswater.

The survey also showed Jeremy Corbyn is close to pulling off a shock win in Islington North, though Labour is still currently ahead.

Nationally, Labour is on course to win more than 450 seats and the biggest majority of any post-war government, according to the Ipsos poll of almost 20,000 people.

It estimated Labour would win 43 per cent of the vote and secure 453 seats, giving it a majority of 256 and reducing the Conservatives to just 115 seats.

YouGov said the Conservatives are projected to slump to their “lowest seat tally in the party’s almost 200-year history” at the election.

It projected Labour to secure 425 seats, the Tories 108, the Liberal Democrats 67, the SNP 20, Reform UK five, Plaid Cymru four and the Green Party two.

It noted such a scenario would hand Sir Keir a 200-seat majority while it added Mr Farage is “likely” to win in Clacton.

MRP (multi-level regression and post-stratification) polls involve large scale polling to build up a picture of the voting intentions of different groups in society and then match them to constituences’ profiles.

After several other polls, Sir John Curtice, Professor of Politics at Strathclyde University, told BBC radio: “In terms of vote share the Conservatives are at the moment heading for their worst performance since the First World War, since the advent of the mass franchise by a country mile.”