Romford MP Andrew Rosindell teams with Ukip MEP Gerard Batten for EU out campaign
- Credit: Archant
Rebel Tory MP Andrew Rosindell has teamed up with Ukip election rival Gerard Batten to push for Britain to leave the European Union.
Just six months after trading blows on the campaign trail in Romford, the pair are fronting a cross-party Havering group ahead of the EU referendum.
Mr Rosindell said he has also spoken to members of the borough’s various residents’ groups about joining and is keen to put party differences aside.
He said: “I believe we will form a very strong group to fight to restore Britain’s independence.”
The MP was one of 37 that last month revolted against proposed changes to the purdah rule that restricts government campaigning before an election. The rebels believed their party wanted to be able to influence the decision.
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“I didn’t have to think about it,” he said. “This is in Britain’s interest so we are free to trade with everyone around the world.
“It is completely against our interest to be stuck in an outdated political union.”
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He said he had even spoken to Jon Cruddas, the Labour MP for Dagenham and Rainham, but did not expect him to join.
He added: “I am willing to work with any mainstream party but not extremists. Not the BNP or EDL or anyone who is prejudice or racist.”
One person he will be working with then is his old foe Alby Tebbutt, the former chairman of the Romford Conservative Association. The two had a public fall out in the bitter feud that split the group in 2013 and Alby then ran as a Ukip candidate at last year’s council elections.
Mr Rosindell said: “I am prepared to work with him, but I am not getting involved in the stupidity he has allegedly engaged in. I will work with anybody who sticks to the objective. It is the right thing for our country and that is what I am in politics to do.”
Mr Batten, Ukip’s MEP for London, had labelled Mr Rosindell a phoney in the run-up to the General Election, but said there had never been any animosity.
“I called him a phoney because he didn’t say he was an ‘out’, he was trying to pull the wool over the public’s eyes. If he wants out then it’s a good thing.
“The referendum is the most important political occurrence for 40 years. Our differences are less important than what binds us together.”