Mark Reckless quits Ukip and rejoins Tories

Cheryl Sanders
April 6, 2017

When Mr Reckless left the Tories he triggered a by-election in Rochester and Strood, which he won putting two UKIP MPs in the House of Commons - him and Mr Carswell.

"I campaigned all my adult life for us to leave the EU".

A Ukip source said that if Reckless did sit as an independent, he could lose his post as chair of the environment committee at the assembly, which entitles him to extra pay.

The move appears to have taken even members of the party by surprise, after South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay told us earlier this morning he could not see Mr Reckless being welcomed back because "he has soiled the nest".

The re-defection of Mr Reckless is a further blow for Ukip after its only MP Douglas Carswell - another defector from the Tories - announced he was leaving to sit as a Conservative.

Former Ukip MP Mark Reckless has followed Douglas Carswell's direction and quit the party on Thursday 6 March.

"The UK Conservative government is getting out of the European Union and I want to back it. Now we are under a Conservative government", he wrote in a statement.

There is speculation Reckless could vote with the Conservatives at the Welsh assembly, but not formally rejoin the party.

However he lost the seat at the general election just months later when Conservative Kelly Tolhurst secured victory with a majority of more than 7,000.

"When Mark joined Ukip in 2014 we admired his long-term commitment to Brexit and his decision to put his country first".

He was subsequently elected to the Welsh Assembly on a Ukip ticket in May 2016. "A position that was right as it was honourable", he said.

It is understood Mr Reckless will be an independent AM rather than re-join the Conservative Party.

"It is now incumbent on Mark Reckless to relinquish a position he has only by virtue of a Ukip mandate".

"Since being elected to the Senedd previous year, Mark has proven himself to be a hard-working and dedicated AM who has been an effective representative for the South East Wales region", he said. "The position should go to the next Ukip candidate on the regional list".

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