Mark Reckless: Newly elected Ukip MP reveals he was so 'frightened' following defection from Tories he installed 'fireproof letterbox'

Former Conservative MP for Rochester installed a fire-proof letter box and improved home security after sending young family away

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Mark Reckless’s defection from the Conservatives was received so badly that the recently elected Ukip MP was forced to install extra security at his home.

Mr Reckless, 43, allegedly became so “frightened” by the negative reaction to his defection that after sending his wife and two young children away, he installed a fire proof letter box to prevent explosives being posted through his front door.

The former Tory’s colleagues rounded on the rebellious politician following his much trumpeted defection on 27 September, branding him a liar.

Ukip’s second MP told the Sunday Times that a member of the local Conservatives sent him a text message that said that his wife and children should be ashamed of him and encouraging other members to make him unwelcome on the streets. Mr Reckless’s wife Catriona took their children Toby, 11 months, and Jamie, two, out of the area while a new security system was also installed in their home.

Despite the vitriol, Mr Reckless managed to retain his Rochester seat with a majority of just under 3,000 votes, in an election that saw the Liberal Democrat percentage of the vote crash and Labour scrape only 17 percent of the vote for a constinuency they previously held.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage arrives at the Rochester by-election count

Mr Reckless first made national headlines in 2010 after becoming so drunk in a Commons bar that he missed a crucial vote. Following the embarrassment, the ten-Tory MP swore off drink – a pledge he had maintained to this day.

Ahead of his victory Mr Reckless claimed he would not drink, although perhaps Ukip leader Nigel Farage – never pictured without a pint of British beer in hand – may tempt him to the pub today.

Like many in politics today Mr Reckless graduated from Oxford University after studying PPE and was then called to the bar.

Mr Reckless is seen as the 13 most rebellious MP for voting against the Tory whip on 56 occasions, but it remains to be seen how well he will adjust to being under Mr Farage’s leadership.