Former county council leader and Tory chairman Nick Clarke asks if it is ‘time to do a deal?’ with UKIP

Nick Clarke in Wisbech when, as county council leader, he launched the 20/20 Vision

Nick Clarke in Wisbech when, as county council leader, he launched the 20/20 Vision - Credit: Archant

The former leader of Cambridgeshire County Council – and former chairman of Cambridge Conservative Association- has called for a possible deal with UKIP.

Nick Clarke, who lost his county council seat last year, said of UKIP: “They seem to have Conservative values.

“They now have an MP and are probably set to gain some more. They clearly can’t be ignored any more.”

Mr Clarke, who stood down recently after a brief spell as chairman of Cambridge Conservatives, wrote on his blog: “As someone with Conservative values I support everyone who upholds them. Conservatives, on the whole have Conservative values. “Not all Conservatives of course. Some use it as a flag of convenience.

“It is time for all politicians to work out how to work together for the people of this fine country.

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“Clearly those with Conservative values should seek to work together to ensure socialism doesn’t prevail. Time to make deals?”

Mr Clarke, who says he entered politics “by accident” in 2009, said of his decision to stand down as the Tory chairman that “I have discovered that being overly political has reduced my ability to get things done.

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“Leading a tribe is ok up to a point but it does mean that there is a real danger of being tribe focused rather than community focussed, which is where all this started for me.

“I now want to return to community issues and see where I can bring my skills and experience to help improve things for the people of Cambridgeshire.”

He added: “I guess it is interesting to reflect that I believe I can do more good outside of mainstream politics than I can within.

Of the next election he said: “The best outcome for me will be an outright Conservative victory, providing we get a referendum on the EU.

“The next best outcome would be a minority Conservative government supported by a few UKIP MP’s. This would ensure a referendum on the EU, be compatible with low tax and small government that is so important.

“I don’t believe Conservatives will go into coalition with the Lib Dems again, even if they have any MP’s.

“Labour is also probably wary of the Lib Dems because they just can’t be trusted so any coalition is unlikely.”

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