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Tory MP Mark Reckless Defects to Join UKIP

A bit of good news in England from the BBC:

Tory MP Mark Reckless has said he is leaving his party to join UKIP, announcing his decision on the eve of the Conservatives' conference.

The Rochester and Strood MP told the UKIP conference he had resigned as an MP, triggering a by-election.

He said that, as a Tory, he could not keep a promise to "cut immigration while treating people fairly".

He is the second Tory MP to defect to UKIP after Clacton MP Douglas Carswell did the same in August.

Mr Reckless will seek re-election in his constituency for UKIP.

Mr Reckless won his seat as a Conservative in 2010 with a majority of 9,953 votes over Labour's Teresa Murray.

Appearing on stage at the UKIP conference in Doncaster, Mr Reckless said: "Today I am leaving the Conservative party and joining UKIP."

He said he had not taken the decision lightly.

Mr Reckless said the Conservative leadership was "part of the problem that is holding our country back".

Criticising the three main parties, he said: "People feel ignored, taken for granted, over-taxed, over-regulated, ripped off and lied to."

On immigration, Mr Reckless said constituents needed to believe that the UK had control over who comes into the country, adding: "At the moment we do not have any sense of that."

He said: "Does anyone left or right genuinely support an immigration system where we turn away the best and brightest from our Commonwealth, people with links and family here in order to make room for unskilled immigration from southern and eastern Europe.

"I promise to cut immigration while treating people fairly and humanely.

"I cannot keep that promise as a Conservative. I can keep it as UKIP."