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A blow for UKIP

Posted by Richard Tuesday, October 05, 2004

On BBC Television’s Newsnight last night, Yorkshire millionaire Paul Sykes publicly ditched UKIP and promised to back the Conservative Party, saying that he could no longer fund UKIP because it had set out to "kill" the Conservatives at the next election by fronting candidates that could unseat Eurosceptic MPs.

Sykes said that the Conservatives seemed to be coming out with "better policies" and he was very pleased to hear that the Conservatives "will be renegotiating fishing powers", along with other powers.

This is not the first time that Sykes has put his weight behind the Tories, but his move comes as a complete surprise after his backing of UKIP during the Euro-elections.

He was known to be disaffected with UKIP, demanding that Kilroy-Silk be appointed leader. But, with Kilroy’s own leadership bid running into the sand, it appears that Sykes has cut his losses and switched sides once again. However, his reaction to the comment about UKIP setting out to "kill" the Conservative party - Kilroy’s word at the party conference – suggests that he has also fallen out with Kilroy.

Whatever his motives, this is a blow for UKIP but, although the Conservatives have cause for cheer, the ever-volatile Mr Sykes still has time to change his mind again.