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Dublin: 2 °C Tuesday 20 March, 2018

Welsh MP who left the Tories for UKIP leaves UKIP for the Tories

Mark Reckless said he was leaving as it was “job done” for the party.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage (right) with Mark Reckless.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage (right) with Mark Reckless.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

A MEMBER OF the Welsh Assembly is leaving UKIP to join the Conservative party grouping – three years after going in the opposite direction.

Mark Reckless had been the Conservative MP for Rochester and Strood until defecting to UKIP in 2014. With the eurosceptic party, he retained his seat in a by-election.

However, he lost that seat in 2015 to Conservative Kelly Tolhurst.

Last year he was elected as an assembly member for South Wales East for UKIP.

Today, however, he announced he would leave the party to sit with the Conservatives. The Tories are the opposition in Wales.

Reckless will not be a member of the party, but will vote with them, the party said.

Reckless said he was leaving as it was “job done” for the party.

I leave UKIP positively, having achieved our joint aim, a successful referendum to leave the EU.
For me it is job done now that article 50 has been triggered. I campaigned all my adult life for us to leave the EU. Now we are, under a Conservative government. I support Theresa May, and her team of Brexit ministers, to deliver.

Reckless’ defection follows that of Douglas Carswell from the party, which has five seats in Wales, along with 20 in Europe. Carswell’s decision left the party without an MP.

UKIP Chairman Paul Oakden said Reckless should give up his seat.

We are disappointed to hear that Mark Reckless has decided to leave UKIP in order to join the Conservatives in the Welsh Assembly.

“It is now incumbent on Mark Reckless to relinquish a position he has only by virtue of a UKIP mandate. The position should go to the next UKIP candidate on the regional list.”

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