UKIP's only member of British Parliament quits party

Ukip is an anti-immigration party or it is nothing, Nigel Farage has asserted.

Mr Carswell said he had left the party amicably.

Douglas Carswell has always against staying in the European Union, since he considers it undemocratic.

"Change is coming - Brexit is just the beginning". He gives complete credit for Brexit to UKIP.

In a formal written announcement on his blog, Carswell said his main motivation for joining UKIP initially was their stance on Brexit, but now that this objective has been achieved, he sees no reason to remain with the party. Members as whole, a YouGov survey discovered last October, see themselves as being predominantly right of centre but a little to the left of the rest of their party. He believes every one of them should get medals for facing the future with optimism. He was never UKIP and sought to undermine us. It's because he wanted Brexit to happen.

"We've had an very bad lot of elections quite recently so I'm going to stay as an independent, and wait and see". "I'm not submitting myself to the authority, to the whip, of a new party", he said. He will not "cross the floor" to join the Conservatives.

On Saturday the Clacton MP said he would now resign from Ukip, citing the triggering of Article 50 on Wednesday as a key moment for his cause and saying he would not be fighting a by-election.

"By April 2019, Britain will no longer be a member of the EU".

"So what we're going to do: we're going to test how honourable he is".

Another Tory MP, Mark Reckless, followed Mr Carswell's example by defecting to UKIP in 2014, but lost his seat the following year.

He was educated at the University of East Anglia and King's College, London, and worked in digital television, investment management and the Conservative Party policy unit - run by David Cameron - before becoming an MP.

He is rumoured to have held talks with the Tory chief whip, but a return would be unpopular with many MPs in his old party. According to John Rentoul of The Independent, Carswell's resignation confirms the end of the party.

Mr Carswell went on to gain a reputation as an outspoken Tory moderniser, influencing initiatives such as David Cameron's Big Society and campaigning for the reform of parliamentary expenses following the 2009 scandal.

The Clacton-on-Sea MP said he wanted to "support" the government as a "critical friend" in his role as an independent in the Commons. Bridgen said the former UKIP MP must rebuild a relation with the local Conservatives.

This time, however, he claims there is no need to call a by-election.

When Carswell's resignation was raised on Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme, Farage immediately responded: "Thank God!"

The party will lose more than £200,000 of Opposition "short money" it now receives, at a time when key donor Arron Banks has quit to form "Ukip 2.0".

  • Leroy Wright