Ukip’s only MP has vowed that he is “100%” behind the party after claims that he was planning to rejoin the Conservatives.
Douglas Carswell pledged his loyalty to Ukip after Nigel Farage deepened a long-running feud between the two by claiming that the Tory defector had never left the Conservative Party.
‘I’m 100% Ukip’, he firmly told the Press Association.
Former Ukip leader Mr Farage had previously urged colleagues to boot the Clacton MP from the party after a tumultuous day of activity in the party.
When asked if Mr Carswell was in the process of rejoining the Conservatives, Mr Farage said: ‘Did he ever leave the Conservatives? He was certainly representing them during the referendum campaign.
He also claimed that the MP had to go because ‘I don’t want my successor [leader Paul Nuttall] to have to put up with the same sabotage and division that I did.’
Clarifying his position, Mr Carswell also said he had an ‘amicable’ meeting with party chairman Paul Oakden and was happy to continue represent Ukip in the Commons.
‘Contrary to a lot of speculation, we had a very polite and amicable meeting. I think he has done a wonderful job as party chairman’, Mr Carswell said.
His commitment comes only days after millionaire Ukip funder Arron Banks declared his plans to stand against Mr Carswell at the 2020 general election.
‘We will have a high street shop in Clacton, professional agent appointed soon and I will be rolling my sleeves up,’ Mr Banks said.
Daniel Hannan, a leading Eurosceptic, believes that Mr Farage has been at loggerheads with Mr Carswell since 2015 when he was elected – a feat that the former Ukip leader has so far managed to do.
‘Now you can disagree with Douglas politically, but you can’t question his integrity’, he wrote in the Telegraph.
‘He gave up a comfortable majority in his Clacton seat, and had the courage to hold a by-election so that his constituents could approve or remove him. He then devoted all his energy to winning the EU referendum. Yet Nigel won’t accept the obvious explanation (for his failure).’