'There are some pretty odd people': Cameron insults UKIP again as party hits poll highPrime Minister made comment as poll suggests UKIP seeing record supportA survey for the Mail on Sunday puts UKIP at 16 per cent, taking third placeUKIP leader Nigel Farage said comments meant there was no chance of pact

James Chapman


23:58 GMT, 6 January 2013



08:00 GMT, 7 January 2013

Mr Cameron has said there were 'some pretty odd people' when asked about his previous comments of UKIP supporters

Mr Cameron has said there were 'some pretty odd people' when asked about his previous comments of UKIP supporters

David Cameron renewed his attack on UKIP yesterday, saying it contains some ‘pretty odd people’.

He spoke as a poll suggested that the anti-Brussels party is enjoying record support, at 16 per cent, taking third place from the Lib Dems.

A Survation survey for the Mail on Sunday put Labour on 38 per cent, the Tories on 29, UKIP on 16 and the Lib Dems on 11.

Translated into votes at the next General Election, that would cost the Conservatives 51 seats and present Labour with a thumping victory and an overall majority of 94.

There is an increasing expectation that UKIP will beat the Conservatives in next year’s European elections, having come second last time.

Asked yesterday on the BBC about his previous description of UKIP supporters as ‘fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists’, Mr Cameron said: ‘There are some pretty odd people.’

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said the Prime Minister’s remarks meant there was no chance of any electoral pact between his party and the Conservatives.

This was suggested by Tory vice-chairman Michael Fabricant, who said the Tories should offer an in/out referendum on UK membership of the EU if UKIP promises not to stand against Tory candidates in 2015.

The idea was rejected by Tory high command. Yesterday Mr Farage, who has seen his party’s support soar from 3 per cent in 2010, said he would not worry about Mr Cameron’s remarks. ‘If he wants to go on being rude about me and rude about UKIP, well let him do it. We won’t lose any sleep over it,’ Mr Farage said.

‘I don’t think there is any prospect of any deal with the Conservative Party all the while that man leads it, given the way he has behaved and his attitude towards us.

‘Look, I would do a deal with the devil if it got us what we need, which is a free and fair referendum so that we in this country can decide who governs us.’

Conservative MP Stewart Jackson also criticised the Prime Minister’s attack on UKIP.

‘Cameron should rise above being rude about people whose votes he’ll need to get an overall majority, but he can’t help himself,’ he said.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said he won't lose any sleep over Mr Cameron's remarks

Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps has said UKIP's rise in the opinion polls was a mid-term protest

UKIP leader Nigel Farage, left, has said he won't be losing any sleep over Mr Cameron's remarks, while Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps, right, has said the party's rise in polls was a mid-term protest

‘He will win back Conservatives flirting with UKIP if he respects their views and articulates an authentic Conservative message.’

Grant Shapps, the Conservative Party chairman, suggested UKIP’s rise in the opinion polls was a mid-term protest that would normally have boosted the Lib Dems.

‘We’re mid-Parliament: people often during mid-Parliament look to protest somewhere,’ he said. ‘In the past that’s been to the Liberal Democrats – they’re in government of course now – but I think that come the next election, another two to two-and-a-half years’ time, people will be able to have a look at the full track record, which will include having dealt with a large amount of the deficit, some of the really big issues that are facing this country; some of the really difficult decisions we’ve had to make to get this country back on track.

‘One thing I know about UKIP supporters is it’s not just Europe that will concern them, and that’s why you have to have a very full range of policies in order to attract people.

‘Realistically, UKIP don’t have any Members of Parliament, and we’re going to set out our programme based on what we’d like to do.’

Anthony Wells, of the UK Polling Report, said telephone polls were currently averaging around 7 per cent for UKIP, while online polls put them on an average of 11 per cent.