Another defection as funder leaves

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ANOTHER Ukip defection saw a former Conservative party donor switch sides just hours before the PM’s speech.

Insurance guru Arron Banks, who has previously given tens of thousands of pounds to the Conservatives, is to present Nigel Farage with a cheque for £100,000.

Mr Banks said he did not believe the Prime Minister would succeed in his efforts to reform the European Union or leave it.

“I’ve supported the Conservatives for a number of years but have come to the realisation that only Ukip supports my views,” he said.

“Being a member of the EU is like having a first class ticket on the Titanic. Economically, remaining in the EU is unsustainable.”

He added:”The Conservative Party try to sell us the myth that EU reform is achievable when frankly all Cameron can offer is tinkering around the edge

The move is the latest in a series of announcements designed to disrupt the Tories’ final party conference before the general election.

Over the weekend Mark Reckless followed fellow MP Douglas Carswell in jumping ship to Ukip and triggering Commons by-elections.

Former deputy mayor of London Richard Barnes has also declared he is switching allegiance.

Last night the latest defection was seized on by Labour as a sign of a Tory leadership crisis.

Labour frontbencher Michael Dugher said: “David Cameron is haemorrhaging support and his authority is ebbing away. He can’t control his party, who clearly have no confidence in his leadership.

“And once again we see that Ukip are reliant on Tory money as well as Tory policy and Tory politicians.”