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  1. ITV Report

Ukip MP and millionaire donor in furious conference clash

Credit: PA

A row has erupted after Ukip's only MP and a millionaire donor clashed in a corridor at the party's annual conference leading Nigel Farage to accuse him of having "residual loyalty" to the Conservative Party.

Douglas Carswell accused Arron Banks, a major donor to the party, of acting in an undemocratic manner by saying he would be deselected as MP for Clacton unless he joined the businessman's campaign to leave the European Union.

Mr Carswell told reporters:

Arron has announced that he's trying to build a cross party campaign to campaign to leave.

People have chosen to brief against me and suggest I would be removed from Ukip unless I did what they said. I'm not really sure that it's for Mr Banks to decide who is and who isn't a member of Ukip.

– Douglas Carswell MP

Mr Banks called the incident a "hissy fit in a corridor" and refused to back Carswell, saying his refusal to back the Leave EU group put him at odds with the party.

Mr Carswell is currently committed to a separate eurosceptic group, Business for Britain (BfB), a cross-party organisation.

He insists he had briefed Nigel Farage at every opportunity that he was part of BfB and saying it was Ukip party policy to work with whichever campaign receives official designation from the Electoral Commission to fight one side in the referendum, and the money that comes with it.

Nigel Farage accuses Douglas Carswell of having "residual loyalties" to the Conservative party. Credit: Reuters

I can only guess he's got some residual loyalty to his old friends in the Conservative Party and that's fine, friendship and loyalty are important values in life, but the fact is that Mr Elliott's group do not advocate leaving the European Union, it's very simple.

– Nigel Farage

He also attacked Carswell's favoured eurosceptic group BfB for failing to commit to an "Out" vote until David Cameron completes his renegotiation of the UK's relationship with the EU.

The confrontation lays bare the tensions at the top of the party as the MP and Mr Farage clash over the direction Ukip should take.

Responding to today's confrontation, Mr Farage said: "I don't know what it was all about, if there's a personal conflict between the two, that's life.

"But I don't think Mr Banks should or could purport to represent Ukip in any way at all, he doesn't. He's been a donor to Ukip but he's never held an official position within Ukip."

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