Nick Fletcher rules out fresh call to join Reform as voters call for him to quit Tories

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Nick Fletcher has ruled out fresh calls to join Nigel Farage’s Reform UK amid growing pressure from voters to quit the Conservative Party.

The former Don Valley Tory MP, who is running for re-election in the newly created Doncaster East and Isle of Axholme constituency at the General Election, landed himself in hot water with Tory chiefs earlier this year when he advised people to vote for his “good friend” Lee Anderson who quit the Conservatives to join Reform UK.

Following Mr Farage’s return to the electoral fray as leader of the party, voters have called on Mr Fletcher to ditch the Conservatives and switch.

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But an adamant Mr Fletcher says he will not be swapping parties.

Nick Fletcher has repeated his insistence that he will not quit the Conservatives to join his "good friend" Lee Anderson in Reform UK.Nick Fletcher has repeated his insistence that he will not quit the Conservatives to join his "good friend" Lee Anderson in Reform UK.
Nick Fletcher has repeated his insistence that he will not quit the Conservatives to join his "good friend" Lee Anderson in Reform UK.

In a statement, he said: “I will not be joining the Reform Party.

"I have shared an office with Lee Anderson in Parliament and have much in common with how we see the world.

"He is a friend and I am aware that he has made it clear that he will not campaign against me in my constituency.”

One voter told him: “Not bothered. Still voting Reform UK.”

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Another told him: “Reform ticks all the boxes - grow some balls and join Reform to keep democracy and our electorate accountable.”

Another posted: “What we need is a strong opposition party and that is not the Conservatives. I'll be voting for Reform.”

“I think your only hope of keeping your seat was to jump ship with him or stand as an independent,” another wrote.

Another shared: “I am voting Reform. The Conservative Party has completely lost its way and is out of touch.”

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“I respect the loyalty but wish you had joined Reform! Then I know exactly who would be getting my vote,” posted another.

“Join with Lee, Nick,” wrote another. “We need reform in Doncaster - stand for Reform.”

Another added: “Definitely voting Reform, we need a BIG change at the top. Do yourself a favour and get out of the rat infested sinking ship while you can.”

Earlier this year, the Conservative Party rejected calls for Mr Fletcher to be disciplined after he told voters to support Reform.

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Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats called for PM Rishi Sunak to suspend the him following a social media post in which he endorsed voters to return his “great friend” and former deputy party chairman Mr Anderson to Parliament following his switch to Reform UK.

Mr Fletcher wrote: “Ashfield has its greatest champion and I hope they appreciate what he has done for his home town and his country at the next election. We both need to be back in Westminster.”

After the storm erupted, the Doncaster MP backtracked and said: “For the avoidance of any doubt of course I want to see a Conservative majority Government returned at the next election with as many Conservative MPs as possible.”

The Liberal Democrats condemned “further Tory infighting” and said Rishi Sunak had to “find his backbone and kick Nick Fletcher out of the Conservative Party”.

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The comments came after Mr Anderson declared he would not campaign in some Tory constituencies, including Mr Fletcher’s, because of his friendships with the sitting MPs.

Announcing his non-aggression pact, Mr Anderson said he would not campaign against four, now former Tory MPs because "friendship means more".

They included Ben Bradley, the former MP for Mansfield, Brendan Clarke-Smith, who represented Bassetlaw and Marco Longhi, the ex-Dudley North MP as well as Mr Fletcher.

In a post he said: "These people are my friends and the ones that reached out to me.

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"They will always be my friends and because of this I will not campaign against them in their Parliamentary seats.

"Friendship means more to me. Every other seat is fair game."

Earlier this year, in a GB News interview, Mr Fletcher said: “My constituents voted for a Conservative candidate and they will keep a Conservative candidate unless I lose the whip, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen. I will stay as a Conservative candidate until the next election and I will continue then.”

  • The full list of candidates standing in the Doncaster East and Isle of Axholme constituenc
  • Nick Fletcher, Conservative
  • Paul Garrett, Green

  • Michael Longfellow, Climate Party

  • Irwen Martin, Reform UK

  • Lee Pitcher, Labour

  • Nicola Turner, Liberal Democrats

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