Farage: Dined with media baron Murdoch
Farage: Dined with media baron Murdoch

Ukip leader Nigel Farage will join forces with the Conservative party against Labour at the next election - but only if David Cameron leaves Downing Street.

Farage reportedly set out the terms of a future pact with the Tories at a secret dinner with the media tycoon, Rupert Murdoch, last month.

A deal would strength Conservative prospects at the 2015 general election by stopping Ukip from splitting the Tory vote - as happened in the recent Eastleigh by-election. Dissent is brewing as the prospect of victory in 2015 becomes dimmer.

That means it is likely to appeal to MPs who are worried about losing their seats, but they must depose Cameron first, say the Telegraph.

But getting rid of Cameron is likely to be difficult for restive Conservatives in the absence of a viable rival.

This week speculation centred on the prospect of a leadership bid by home secretary Theresa May.

Meanwhile, Cameron may find that makling peace with Ukip is beyond him. He distanced the Tory Party from Ukip by calling its members "fruitcakes" and "closet racists" and then refusing Farage's demand to apologise. As a result, ex-banker Farage dislikes and distrusts Cameron - as he made clear in his response to the Prime Minister's vow to hold an in/out EU referendum.

Farage dining privately with Murdoch will be seen as a sign of Ukip's growing influence, despite the absence of election wins for the party.

In contrast, Murdoch's influence is generally seen to be on the wane after the Leveson Enquiry, despite him owning Sky TV and the The Sun and Times newspapers.

The Telegraph reported that Murdoch backs Ukip's policy on Europe and bringing back grammar schools, but not its stance on immigration. Ukip believe in halting the free flow of immigration within Europe by dint of the party's wish to exit the EU.

Cameron has a frosty relationship with Murdoch too, according to reports. That is after the Prime Minister cut ties with the media baron when the News of the World hacking scandal broke in 2011.

Despite that Murdoch, who appeared at the Leveson enquiry, still has good relations with senior Tories like London Mayor Boris Johnson and education secretary Michale Gove.

For Tories to throw Cameron out of No10 Downing Street at least 15 percent of MPs (45) must write to the 1922 Committee - which represents backbenchers. That triggers a vote of confidence. If Cameron were to lose the vote then he would lose his position as leader.