Nigel Farage sent home from Rochester after voters take against Reckless defection to Ukip

Ukip's new recruit cancelled walkabout after being met by disgruntled ex-colleagues and constituents, while Tory conference attendees tear into defector

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Indy Politics

Mark Reckless, the ex-Conservative MP that defected to Ukip on Saturday, looked to have cancelled a planned walkabout to celebrate his move with leader Nigel Farage after a negative reaction in his Rochester constituency.

Far from the near-hero’s welcome that met Clacton’s Douglas Carswell when he defected at the end of August, Reckless was subjected to tough questions from his constituents in Rochester in Kent. Old colleagues from the Tory party were also waiting at the pub that Farage and Reckless had planned to begin their walkabout from, ready to take on the ex-Conservative MP.

After a photo opportunity with both men sitting down to have a drink, they had a private conversation, according to Sky News. Soon after, they each left, with Farage exiting in a car and Reckless escaping through a side door.

Reckless claimed that the two men had instead done a planned walkabout before the photo call in the pub, but Sky reported that another event had been scheduled to follow the pub meeting.

Reckless defected to Ukip on Saturday, at the latter party’s conference in Doncaster. The news hit just as preparations were being made for the beginning of the Conservative conference, which began on Sunday and is being held in Birmingham.

Senior Tory ex-colleagues criticised Reckless’s move on Sunday. David Cameron branded the decision “senseless and counter-productive”.

 

In a passionate speech on the first day of the party conference, party chairman Grant Shapps said that Reckless was a liar.

“We have been let down by somebody who has repeatedly lied to his constituents, and to you,” said Shapps. “Who said one thing, and then did another.”

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