Douglas Carswell quits as an MP and says he will vote Tory in general election

The MP says he has achieved his main political goal of taking Britain out of the European Union

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Indy Politics

Former Ukip MP Douglas Carswell has said he will not stand in the coming general election and has thrown his support behind the Conservatives.

Mr Carswell, who currently sits as an independent, left Ukip earlier this year after long-running tensions with other factions in the party and Nigel Farage.

He said: “I have decided that I will not now be seeking re-election.

“I intend to vote Conservative ‪on 8 June and will be offering my full support to whoever the Clacton constituency Conservatives select as their candidate.”

Mr Carswell said earlier this month that Ukip should “disband” following the EU referendum result. He also went on to describe Theresa May as a “real revolutionary”.

In his resignation statement he said he had accomplished his main political goal of taking Britain out of the European Union.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Former Ukip donor and insurance millionaire Aaron Banks said earlier this year that he would stand as a Ukip candidate against Mr Carswell in Clacton in order to unseat him.

Mr Carswell defected from the Conservatives to Ukip in 2014 and forced a by-election. He stood as a Ukip candidate again at the 2015 general election and was the only MP to win a seat for the party. 

Having left the party to stand as an independent earlier this year he did not call another by-election, arguing that one was not necessary because he was not taking a new party whip.