Tory Defections: Then and Now

The defection of the three Tory MPs to The Independents Group today has seen an outpouring of comments ranging from sadness to… sadness from their former Tory colleagues. Theresa May is “saddened”, David Cameron is “sad”, Claire Perry is “extremely sad”. All get thanks for their “dedicated service”, with the door being left open for them to return if they change their mind…

So presumably it was the same outpouring of thanks, hugs and condolences all round when Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless left for UKIP in 2014? Don’t be silly…

David Cameron branded Reckless’s decision “senseless and counter-productive” and accused Carswell of helping Labour. Carswell was accused of “betrayal”, “petulance” and “political vanity” by Tory MPs while Reckless was even sued by his former local party. All topped off with Claire “Brexit Jihadis” Perry’s ever classy “Don’t let the door hit your fat arse as you leave”…

Kinnock’s Knock Off Britain

Stephen Kinnock’s new centrist book has something very familiar about its front cover. It’s using exactly the same image as Douglas Carswell and Daniel Hannan’s 2008 twelve month plan to renew Britain. If you can’t beat them, join them…

Carswell and Hannan’s The Plan is still available.

Arron Banks’s Man in Clacton Quits UKIP

Arron Banks’s favoured candidate in Clacton has quit UKIP after party HQ dropped him amid a storm over Muslim-bashing tweets. When Banks himself bottled standing in the seat back in April, he threw his support behind UKIP councilor Jeff Bray. Bray said on receiving the nomination:

“It didn’t hurt that I got the backing from Arron Banks after he decided not to stand. Arron came down here… he recognised we are doing a good job… He made the decision to back me, which was a huge honour.”

Bray’s selection has been a bit of a disaster after controversial tweets and a dodgy Facebook page were unearthed carrying his name:

Bray claimed he couldn’t remember the posts and suggested they had been manipulated, but today he has quit the party after he was dropped in favour of NEC member Paul Oakley. Bray said:

“I had the support of the local people and the national party have ignored this and chosen one of their own who told the meeting that all he knew about Clacton was that he had spent a holiday here when he was 10. The party has absolutely no chance of holding the seat.”

Arron’s man crashes and burns, UKIP have a mountain to climb in Clacton…

Carswell: I’m “UKIP’s First and Last Member of Parliament… It’s Over”

Peak 😎   from Douglas…

Carswell Quits, Voting Tory

I have never felt more proud and honoured than when representing my Essex constituents in the House of Commons.

Over the past twelve years I have had great fun working with, and getting to know, many wonderful local people. Together, we ran all sorts of local campaigns, from safeguarding local services to getting a new seafront. Local has always come first.

As I promised in my maiden speech, I have done everything possible to ensure we got, and won, a referendum to leave the European Union – even changing parties and triggering a by election to help nudge things along. Last summer, we won that referendum. Britain is going to become a sovereign country again.

I have decided that I will not now be seeking re-election. I intend to vote Conservative ‪on June 8th and will be offering my full support to whoever the Clacton Constituency Conservatives select as their candidate.

It is sometimes said that all political careers end in failure. It doesn’t feel like that to me today. I have stood for Parliament five times, won four times, and helped win the referendum last June. Job done. I’m delighted.

Having been an MP for about half my adult life, I believe that it is time for me to move on to other things. I look forward to being able to read newspapers without appearing in them.

It has been the highest honour to have represented Clacton in the House of Commons.

A loss to parliament. Will Arron Banks still stand?

Arron Banks: “I Know Nothing About Clacton At All”


Arron Banks, who will stand against Douglas Carswell in Clacton, has admitted in an interview with BBC Radio Essex that he “knows nothing about Clacton at all.Strong start for the Patriotic Alliance…

Carswell Campaigning for Conservatives

Watch this space…

Friday Caption Contest (Make Mine A Double Edition)

This week we are giving the wittiest entry a copy of Douglas Carswell’s new book Rebel: How to Overthrow the Emerging Oligarchy. Emphasis on wit not insult…

Carswell on Consistency

Douglas Carswell tells Kay Burley…

“I have been tediously, rigidly and boringly consistent.”

UKIP Toast Loss of Only MP

With a nod to Douglas Carswell’s trademark sunglasses emoji, UKIP’s NEC break open the bubbly to toast the loss of their only MP…

Carswell: I’m Not Switching Party

Farage: Thank God Carswell’s Gone

Carswell Quits UKIP

It has been an extraordinary achievement. UKIP, my party, which was founded in 1993 in order to get Britain out of the European Union, has now achieved what we were established to do.

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister is going to trigger Article 50, beginning the formal process of withdrawing our country from the EU. By April 2019, Britain will no longer be a member of the EU. After twenty-four years, we have done it. Brexit is in good hands.

UKIP might not have managed to win many seats in Parliament, but in a way we are the most successful political party in Britain ever. We have achieved what we were established to do – and in doing so we have changed the course of our country’s history for the better. Make no mistake; we would not be leaving the EU if it was not for UKIP – and for those remarkable people who founded, supported and sustained our party over that period.

Our party has prevailed thanks to the heroic efforts of UKIP party members and supporters. You ensured we got a referendum. With your street stalls and leafleting, you helped Vote Leave win the referendum. You should all be given medals for what you helped make happen – and face the future with optimism.

Like many of you, I switched to UKIP because I desperately wanted us to leave the EU. Now we can be certain that that is going to happen, I have decided that I will be leaving UKIP.

I will not be switching parties, nor crossing the floor to the Conservatives, so do not need to call a by election, as I did when switching from the Conservatives to UKIP. I will simply be the Member of Parliament for Clacton, sitting as an independent.

I will leave UKIP amicably, cheerfully and in the knowledge that we won.

At the hundreds of meetings and action days I have attended as a UKIP activist across the country since I joined in August 2014, I have met some truly remarkable people. You are heroes! Thank you and well done. I wish you all well.

When first elected to represent Clacton in 2005, I promised to do all I could to help ensure that Britain left the EU. To the consternation of my then party whips (some of who, I’m delighted to see, are now ministers helping make Brexit happen), I made my intentions on that front plain in my maiden speech. Job done.

I will be putting all of my effort into tackling some of the local problems affecting the NHS in our part of Essex, including GP shortages and the threat to our local Minor Injuries Unit. In that spirit, I called a Westminster Hall debate last week about the future of primary care in our part of Essex. Local comes first.

Cheer up! The days when small elites can try to arrange human social and economic affairs by grand design are coming to an end. Change is coming – Brexit is just the beginning.

Carswell: Not Rejoining Tories, I’ll Stand For UKIP in 2020

Carswell rules out defecting back to the Tories and says he will stand for UKIP again, something he hasn’t committed to before. He says he is “walking on sunshine” and feels “like an emoji smiling every day”…

Nuttall Backs Carswell

Says Carswell has it in writing that he lobbied for Farage to get a knighthood, and if that is proven “I don’t see a problem…”

Farage Backs Banks in Clacton

Asked if he would back Douglas Carswell or Arron Banks in Clacton, Nigel Farage replied: “it doesn’t take much working out“. Farage was twisting the fish knife at a hurriedly called Fishing For Leave press conference this morning, attacking “posh boy” Carswell:

“He should have gone in 2015, he’s been sabotaging… We’ve got a new leader of UKIP who needs to be given a chance… If the MP is doing you harm, you’d be better off without him… Quite why Douglas joined the party when he disagrees with the policies I don’t know. “

Farage denied he was the party’s “backseat” leader and joked the infighting in UKIP is “almost as bad as in the Labour Party.” Around 30 hacks were lured hook, line and sinker on the promise of a Farage appearance, only to hear Owen Paterson lengthily outline the future of British fishing after Brexit. An important issue to be sure, not a big draw for the media crowd in SW1…

Meanwhile Michael Heaver, Farage’s former spokesman, says of Carswell’s “infiltration” of the party: “Forget U.K.I.P, it was more K.G.B“. Carswell has been summoned by Paul Nuttall to meet UKIP’s chairman this afternoon…

UPDATE: Fightin’ talk from Arron Banks: “We will have a high street shop in Clacton, professional agent appointed soon and I will be rolling my sleeves up.”

UPDATE II: Team Carswell say he is “supremely relaxed”.

UPDATE III: To which Banks’ sidekick Andy Wigmore responds: “Bollox [sic] old wonky jaw is toast”.

Arron Banks Says He’ll Stand in Clacton Against Carswell

The UKIP feuding continues. Last week Arron demanded Nuttall made him UKIP’s party chairman or he will not donate any more money – a hostile take over offer rejected by Patrick O’Flynn. Last night he said he will stand against UKIP’s only MP, Douglas Carswell. Presumably for his new political movement…

The trigger for this is that Carswell is alleged by Banks to have blocked a knighthood for Nigel Farage. Carswell says on the contrary he spoke to the government Chief Whip Gavin Williamson – who holds considerable sway with the honours committee – in support of a knighhood for Nigel. Carswell joked in an email to Lord Pearson that maybe they should set their sights lower and aim for an OBE next time. This has enraged Farage and Banks who see it as more evidence that Carswell is a cuckoo in the UKIP nest – they are urging Nuttall to sack Carswell. As usual UKIP are fighting among themselves instead of their opponents…

Any rational observer might think that UKIP would be better off marshalling its limited resources towards winning another seat, not undermining UKIP’s 3,437 slim majority over the Tories in Clacton. Nuttall, who stood on a unity ticket, knows this…

Carswell: Likely Labour Have Won Stoke

Douglas Carswell all but concedes Stoke:

“I think the most likely outcome is that Labour will win… Stoke is not even in our top 50 target seats.”

Kippers on the ground do not sound particularly confident. Result by 3am…

Who’s on Question Time Tonight?

UKIP Gives Taxpayers 52% Rebate

ukip-short-money-2
After winning 3.9 million votes and just one seat, UKIP was entitled to £619,128 of Short Money last year. Their sole MP Douglas Carswell refused to take the full amount, sparking a bitter row with Nigel Farage, and irritating those in party HQ who had to find the money to pay staff wages.[…] Read the rest

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