Education Secretary Nicky Morgan might quit rather than serve in Tory-UKIP coalition

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Tory Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has suggested she would not rule out quitting, rather than serving in a coalition Government with UKIP.

Speaking to the Times, Ms Morgan, who is the only Tory Cabinet minister fighting for a marginal seat, said when asked whether the Tories should share power with UKIP, that she would not rule out quitting.

She said: “I can give you the answer which is that we are not talking about anything but a majority Government but I think if we end up in coalition discussion territory, people will have to ask themselves who they are happy to serve with. It is difficult envisaging what might happen but Nigel Farage is not my cup of tea.”

Ms Morgan also strongly criticised “stomach-turning” comments made by UKIP leader Nigel Farage about foreign HIV patients on the NHS, and praised Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood for her criticism of Farage on the night.

During the Leaders’ Debate on Thursday, UKIP leader Nigel Farage claimed: “There are 7000 diagnoses in this country every year for people who are HIV positive, but 60 percent of them are not for British nationals.

“You can come into Britain, from anywhere in the world, and get diagnosed with HIV, and get the anti-retroviral drugs which cost up to £25,000 per year per patient.”

Ms Morgan said: “To say that in a calculated way to appeal to your core vote is pretty stomach-turning.”

Mr Farage has said he would approve of a Tory-led coalition Government, if it included guarantees around a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

His comments on HIV have been strongly condemned by the leaders of other parties and by HIV charities – while fact checkers pointed out his stat included non-British nationals who have contracted HIV in this country, and ignores the concept of herd immunity.

However, Mr Farage stuck by his claim in an interview with Sky News.

He said: “What good Christian would say to an 85-year-old woman ‘you can’t have breast cancer treatment because we can’t afford it’, whilst at the same time shovelling a billion pounds on foreign aid, allowing people from all over the world to fly into Britain as health tourists get an HIV test and drugs over £20,000 a year?