London (AFP) – UKIP leader Nigel Farage on Monday indicated he would allow deals to be struck to ensure his candidates did not run against eurosceptic Conservative MPs at the next election.
Writing in the Times, Farage ruled out a grand election deal with the Tories, saying he was "despised" by prime minister David Cameron, but offered an olive branch to MPs from the ruling party's right wing.
"If either they, or others like them, even Labour MPs, with their local associations, chose to propose running on a joint ticket then I would leave the local UKIP association to have those negotiations," he wrote.
"UKIP has transformed the Conservatives. A deal with like-minded MPs makes sense."
Chancellor George Osborne last week said he "didn't think we should be doing deals with other parties", but refused to rule out possible individual pacts as the party explores ways of nullifying the threat posed by Farage.
Farage brushed off talk of a comprehensive deal with the Tories as "nonsensical".
"Mr Cameron despises us, his own board excludes me from debate and we are viewed by the high command as in some way from the lower orders," he wrote.
The eurosceptic leader claimed he was "persona non grata" at the Tory party conference, which kicks off in Manchester later Monday.