Richard North, 15/11/2004  

In a Yorkshire Post report today, Yorkshire tycoon Paul Sykes is said to have told the Conservative Party that he will not give them a penny for the next general election. But, in a move designed to inflict maximum pressure on the main parties over Europe, he has vowed to help fund any individual candidate who advocates withdrawal from the European Union.

The YP claims that the Tories had hoped that Sykes, who has given an estimated £6m to anti-EU causes, would turn some of his financial firepower to their side after he had defected from UKIP following what is styled as "a toughening-up of the Tories' Europe policy" and the return of leading Tory eurosceptic John Redwood to the shadow cabinet.

However, Sykes, who has turned down an invitation for personal talks with Michael Howard, said: "I will be voting Conservative at the next general election but that's all I'm doing. I'm not coming back to join the Conservative Party. I can't and won't fund the Tory policy at present. It's misleading.

He added, "I don't agree with their policy over the EU, but they're the best of a bad bunch," stating that he would give assistance to any candidate, of any party, who agreed with him over the EU.

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