Farage barrage? Could EIGHT more Tories defect to UKIP?

Farage barrage parliament sky ukip

Image: Young Independence

Following the shock news that Conservative MP Douglas Carswell has defected to UKIP, thereby triggering a byelection, the far right party led by Nigel Farage has claimed that up to eight more Tory MPs could defect before next year’s general election.

But the claim has been rejected as a figment of the party’s imagination by Eurosceptic Conservative MP John Redwood.

According to the Guardian, Redwood said that the eight MPs in question were among those on the dining list of Stuart Wheeler – a prominent UKIP donor, who had once supported the Tories.

Meanwhile, former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith dismissed Carswell as “a backbench loner”.

Among the eight which the Tory whips will no doubt be working overtime to contain, include Mark Reckless, the MP for Medway in Kent – an area popular with UKIP, and home to South Thanet, where Farage has confirmed his intention to stand next year.

In addition, the Guardian names defence secretary Liam Fox, senior backbencher Bernard Jenkin and Jacob Rees-Mogg as “independent minded Tories” who may be getting itchy feet.  But any defections appear to have been closed down for now, as these MPs moved to distance themselves from Carswell.

UKIP dual

Carswell is not coasting into his UKIP candidacy easily however, as the current UKIP candidate for his Clacton constituency is refusing to stand aside.

Roger Lord, who had been selected by UKIP to contest the Essex constituency next year, has said he still intends to stand, and accused Carswell of jumping ship to save his skin.

Speaking on the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme, Lord said: “It is not over yet. A few people have rung me up and told me to shut up but nobody has told me the truth behind this thus far. Douglas Carswell seems to think that UKIP is some extension of the Conservative party and is just about Europe. But we are bigger than that.

“I told him he was going to lose in May and now he has jumped ship. He has only jumped ship because the waters are around his ankles and he has got nowhere else to go.”

Since that interview however, Farage has made it clear that Carswell will be UKIP’s candidate at the coming byelection. Speaking to LBC, Farage said today that Lord would be offered a candidacy for UKIP at a neighbouring constituency.

Lord’s reaction to the news? Well, according to a tweet by the Daily Mail’s Jason Groves, speaking about Carswell, Lord said: “I’ll rip his throat out, simple as that.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Let's hope Carswell is the first of many. How else is Cameron going to be convinced that we really must exit the EU, and no-one trusts his promises on the subject. He will get a few minor concessions, certainly not on the founding principle of freedom of movement, announce it as a triumph, and then campaign vigorously, with EU financial backing, to stay in. I don't trust him an inch.

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