Douglas Carswell’s defection will merely help Labour back into power
Douglas Carswell has been an excellent constituency MP and original political thinker. Over the years I have been most supportive of him as he overcame local divisions and helped rebuild a strong Clacton Conservative Association while maintaining a very outspoken and often independent line on many issues.
Just 3 months ago, we were campaigning together in the European elections on the basis that only the Conservatives could bring about the changes that people wanted on Europe and immigration and that only Conservatives could deliver an In/Out referendum on Europe.
I am therefore deeply disappointed and dismayed that he should jump ship at a critical time in order to bolster UKIP. This can only have the effect of taking votes from the Conservatives and handing Ed Miliband the keys of No.10. Then the British people will get all the things they least want - a broken economy, even more immigration, and our disappearance into a Federal Europe.
I have repeatedly called for tougher immigration controls - recognising that most immigration over the past 15 years has come from outside Europe - and for a clear statement of the reforms that Britain will demand in our renegotiation with the EU. I remain confident that Conservative Ministers will get a grip of these issues. No one else will.