Has Nigel Farage stolen the show at the Tory party conference?

Nigel Farage Credit: PA

"Can't take my eyes off you," sang former home secretary Priti Patel as she grooved with Nigel Farage at the Conservative Party Conference - and many Tories in Manchester can't either.

The ex-Ukip leader, who has been a thorn in the side of successive Tory leaders for decades, has raised eyebrows with his appearance at the conference, but he does not seem to be unwelcome.

People have been dashing for selfies with the controversial leader - he's even shared a video to prove it - and a crowd has swarmed him almost everywhere he's gone.

Of course, Mr Farage is not a Conservative member, he is at conference in his capacity as a GB News presenter, but that has not stopped him from making his opinions heard.

He was in attendance at what appears to have been the hottest ticket in town so far at the conference; the pro-growth speech made by former prime minister Liz Truss - where he recorded a video saying it was "more exciting than anything in the conference hall".

And he may not have been wrong - many senior Cabinet ministers have been speaking to mostly empty rooms for their keynote speeches.

Perhaps the buzz around Mr Farage shows the parliamentary Conservative Party could do with more animated politicians like him, especially with the aura of Boris Johnson now gone.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has even suggested he would allow Mr Farage to rejoin the party, despite his 30 years of campaigning for opposition groups.

The PM told GB News his party is a “very broad church” when asked about Mr Farage’s membership prospects, adding: “I welcome lots of people who want to subscribe to our ideals, to our values.”

Mr Farage has insisted he would not rejoin, despite thinly veiled encouragement from former Cabinet minister Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg.

The former businesses secretary told the BBC that Mr Farage is a “very effective campaigner” and said he shared “most of his political views”.

Nigel Farage and Priti Patel sing 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You' at Tory conference

He said: “I think Nigel is broadly a Tory and always has been. If he wanted to join I can’t think his membership would be refused.”

At the suggestion of Mr Farage rejoining, Sir Jacob said: “We’re always delighted if people cross the floor.”

Mr Farage, asked on GB News whether he would consider returning to the party he quit in 1992, said: “Would I want to join a party that’s put the tax rate up to the highest in over 70 years, that has allowed net migration to run at over half a million a year, that has not used Brexit to deregulate to help small businesses?

“No, no and no.”

He added: “I achieved a lot more outside of the Tory party than I ever could have done from within it.”