Betting company Ladbrokes believe more Conservative Party members could defect – and have set odds of 10/1 for David Nuttall to be the next to jump ship to UKIP.
Bury North MP Nuttall, who joined the House of Commons in 2010, is famously Euro-sceptical and is a keen supporter of the ‘Better Off Out’ campaign, an organisation which supports the UK leaving the EU.
However, the 52-year-old recently took to the Conservative website to quash any rumours that he plans on leaving the Tories.
“Whilst I will continue to make the case for the UK leaving the EU – something I agree with UKIP about – I intend to stay in the Conservative Party,” he said.
“If the UK is ever to leave the EU, it will need supporters of all political parties to work together. Not just the Conservatives and UKIP, but life-long socialists too.”
However, despite clarifying his allegiance to the Tories, Mr Nuttall went on to say: “It always makes sense to never say never in politics.”
The news comes after a series of high-profile defections from the Conservatives over the weekend and most recently as today.
Conservative Party donor Arron Banks, who donated more than £250,000 to the Tories since 2005, has left on the day when Prime Minister David Cameron is due to give is Party Conference speech.
Other members to have left include former Deputy Mayor of London Richard Barnes as well as MPs Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless.
Mr Nuttall believes leaving the EU would result in stronger free-trade agreements and would end the growing power Brussels holds over the UK.
UKIP are hoping to encourage both Conservative and Labour politicians to the purple side but admit a UKIP government is unlikely.
Image courtesy of The Freedom Association, with thanks