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Another Tory 'could defect to Ukip'

There is still a chance that another Tory MP could defect to Ukip before the general election, Nigel Farage has suggested.

Mr Farage said there was still "one conversation" going on with a Conservative about switching sides.

A further defection before May 7 could cause major disruption to David Cameron's party - and help restore momentum to Ukip after a series of polls suggested their support is slipping.

Unlike Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless - who both triggered and won by-elections - the turncoat MP would be almost certain to hold on to their seat until it came up for grabs in the nationwide ballot.

Asked in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph whether he was in discussions with any Tory MPs, Mr Farage said: "The last time I spoke about this I said I would be surprised if there were not more.

"There is one conversation we are still having. But do you know what - it is not very relevant now. Last year it was a big deal."

Mr Farage also expanded on why he chose to use his keynote speech at Ukip's conference in Margate to deny that he was seriously ill.

"I have been hearing this now for five weeks. But it reached the level this week where those stories are being targeted at the kind of people who I really don't want to have doubts in me - our backers, our supporters," Mr Farage said.

"I would not normally use a conference platform speech to say something that most people did not understand but that was directed out at a wider audience."

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