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Northern & Shell’s Express newspapers rumoured to be considering formally backing Ukip

Northern & Shell and Express newspapers owner Richard Desmond has reportedly expressed interest in backing Ukip at the general election.

Desmond is understood to be meeting party leader Nigel Farage this week, according to the Sunday Times, amidst rumours that he has been seriously considering having this three papers – the Daily Express, Sunday Express and Daily Star – endose the party officially.

The backing of Ukip if it were to occur, would not be the first step made by one of Express newspapers group, having previously seen longtime chief political commentator of the Daily Express Patrick O'Flynn join Ukip as director of communications. He was later elected as an MEP.

The Daily Express and Daily Star have combined readership of around 400,000 people.