UK & World News

  • 29 August 2014, 9:27

Ex-Tory MP Calls For End Of 'Little Clique'

Douglas Carswell has returned to his Clacton constituency alongside UKIP leader Nigel Farage, as pressure mounted on the Prime Minister from Eurosceptic backbenchers.

The former Conservative MP, 43, accused political parties of forming a "little clique" and said voters needed to be represented by people who listened to them.

He said: "I could lose, there is a risk, but I'm putting my principles on the table saying to people here this is what I stand for.

"I'm in UKIP now. I believe that this country needs fundamental change.

"We've been governed by the same little clique for too long. The same sort of people who became MPs by working in the offices of MPs.

"It's time for change."

Mr Farage accused David Cameron of letting voters "down like a cheap pair of braces" over a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

Speaking in the wake of Mr Carswell'sdefection, Mr Farage told Sky News other MPs were "considering their options".

Reports suggest no further imminent Conservative defections to UKIP following Mr Carswell's departure and resignation from the House of Commons - which prompted a by-election.

But while Eurosceptic Tory backbencher Bernard Jenkin has distanced himself from Mr Carswell, whose constituency his borders, he issued a warning to Mr Cameron.

"I think the Prime Minister has got to spell out in far more detail what he means when he says we want to be an independent nation state," the Harwich and North Essex MP told the Daily Telegraph.

"We're going to have to change our relationship fundamentally with the EU, it's not about ameliorating the existing treaties."

Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg also ruled out defecting to UKIP, but suggested his party should reach an agreement whereby the two parties put up candidates on a joint ticket.

And John Redwood, MP for Wokingham, dismissed claims there were eight Tory MPs considering defection as "figments of UKIP's imagination".

Mr Farage previously insisted Mr Carswell was not the only sitting MP who backed his policies.

He told Sky News: "I've spoken to people in the Conservative Party and the Labour Party who do not want Britain to be borderless, who think this is doing great damage to the working opportunities of people in Britain.

"I don't think Douglas Carswell is going to be considered an isolated eccentric - there are other MPs out there considering their options."

It comes as the man previously selected as the UKIP candidate for the Clacton seat vowed to fight Mr Carswell for the nomination.

Roger Lord told BBC Radio 4: "The water's around his ankles. He has got nowhere else to go.

"He will pay the consequences. If you push someone too hard, then they push back. I'm just pushing back."

Sky's Politics Reporter Darren McCaffrey said the defection was damaging to the Conservatives ahead of the party conference.

He said: "It's become clear that Douglas Carswell was wooed for several months by UKIP, we believe wined and dined by a former Conservative donor Sir Stuart Wheeler who is now bankrolling the UK Independence Party.

"But there is lots of speculation that many other Conservative MPs, up to eight, may also have been wined and dined and may also defect."

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