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Tory candidate features Farage on election leaflet

Conservative candidate Dame Andrea Jenkyns has defended her decision to feature a picture of Reform UK leader Nigel Farage on an election leaflet.

The picture of a grinning Mr Farage next to Dame Andrea was taken at the Reform UK leader’s 60th birthday party in April.

It features on an A5 leaflet sent to voters in the Leeds South West and Morley constituency. The leaflet does not include a picture of Tory leader Rishi Sunak.

Dame Andrea, a leading Conservative pro-Brexit voice, has been calling for her party to unite with Reform UK to prevent a Labour “supermajority” and “the end of Britain as we known it”.

She had been tipped to join Mr Farage’s party but now says she wants to help “unite” the right wing parties after the general election.

In November last year, Dame Andrea became the first Tory MP to reveal that she had submitted a letter of no confidence in Mr Sunak as PM.

She was previously MP for Morley and Outwood, which disappeared in boundary changes.

In a statement defending the leaflet, which was first revealed by the Guido Fawkes website, a spokesperson said: “Andrea is above all, a patriot.

“She fought for Brexit alongside politicians from all parties including Labour and Reform and is proud of being able to transcend party politics and put the country first.

“She finds it regrettable that party leaders have not been able to see the bigger picture in uniting the right to stop a socialist supermajority.

“After the election, Conservative MPs will need to work with a wider conservative movement to achieve their goals and Andrea is one of the best-placed genuine conservatives in her party to help facilitate this.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, Andrea is a lifelong conservative and is standing for the Conservative Party in the forthcoming election.

“She is committed to promoting low-tax, common-sense conservatism.”

Her Reform UK opponent in Leeds South West and Morley James Kendall told the Daily Mirror: “I think it’s disgusting to hide behind Nigel Farage to get the Reform voters to believe that she is for Reform.

“Andrea Jenkyns had the opportunity six months ago to join Reform UK and personally, I’ve always been stood in the background wondering when she was going to stand for Reform.”

He claimed many people in the constituency, including Dame Andrea’s supporters, were unhappy about the leaflet.