Labour MP's secret speech at local UKIP dinner sparks rumours of electoral pact
Don't fall for it!!
Given that he will have to defend his majority of less than 1,000 within the next few weeks, you might have thought that the Labour MP for Stroud since 1997, David Drew (pictured), would have been pounding the streets of his constituency last Friday night.
I call his constituency office and ask the person answering the phone if she can confirm that Mr Drew was attending the fundraising dinner for the Gloucestershire branch of UKIP last week and was told:
"He wasn't; I am fairly sure he was at the Christian Socialist Movement conference."
On being told that I had it on good authority that he was at the UKIP dinner, his office said they would have to get back to me - and I am still waiting for a reply.
The guest of honour at the dinner was the ex-leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage, who has since confirmed to me that Drew not only attended the function, but also gave a spontaneous speech, which was afforded a standing ovation.
"We cheered him to the rafters... I think he's toughened up his position on the EU after the Lisbon Treaty went through without a referendum."
Rumours are now circulating that Drew is seeking an electoral pact which would see UKIP not standing a candidate in Stroud at the general election - a suggestion which Farage seems to imply is a possibility by the tone of his response:
"I'm not running the party any more, and in any case that's a matter for the local party to decide... but I think they're a sensible bunch."
It remains to be seen how dim a view the Labour Party machine takes of his public courting of UKIP, but TITVS ADVXAS, has a simple message for the local electorate:
"The only way to ensure Britain's interests are defended in Europe is to vote for The British National Party."