Former Ukip MP Mark Reckless defects back to the Conservatives

Mark Sands
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Reckless defected to Ukip in 2014 (Source: Getty)

A former Ukip MP has returned to the Conservative party in the Welsh Assembly less than three years after quitting the Tories.

Mark Reckless defected to Ukip while sitting in the House of Commons in 2014, briefly holding on to his seat in Rochester until the 2015 General Election.

After losing out, Reckless entered the Welsh Assembly as a Ukip representative, but Conservatives in the devolved authority have confirmed he will now sit with the Tories.

Although Reckless is not formally rejoining the Conservative party, he will be treated as a member of the group in the Welsh Assembly.

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In a statement Reckless, who was serving as the party's economics spokesman, said he would quit the party "positively" after the UK voted to leave the EU.

Reckless added that he wanted to better support the Conservatives in their opposition to the Welsh Labour party leading the assembly.

Ukip responded to Reckless' decision by calling on the former MP to stand down as an assembly member.

Because the assembly is elected on a regional list system, voters choose a political party, with those organisations ranking their candidates, and the individuals higher up the list most likely to join the 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,” Ukip chairman Paul Oakden said.

It comes after Ukip's only MP, Douglas Carswell, confirmed that he would quit the party to sit in the House of Commons as an independent. Both Carswell and Reckless defected in 2014.

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