LONDON — Mark Reckless quit the UK Independence Party in another body-blow to the pro-Brexit party.
Reckless, who defected to UKIP from the Conservatives in 2014, said he and UKIP had “achieved” their “joint aim” in delivering Brexit in a statement posted on Twitter on Thursday afternoon.
He goes on praise the “exemplary” leadership of Prime Minister Theresa May, adding “she has been steadfast in her position to deliver on the wishes of the people of Wales and the United Kingdom, building a united country that works for everyone and not just the privileged few.”
Reckless, who currently sits on the Welsh Assembly, becomes the second high-profile figure to leave UKIP in just a matter of weeks after Douglas Carswell MP quit the party last month.
Carswell like Reckless quit the Conservatives to join UKIP in order to push for a referendum on Britain’s EU membership. Their departure means UKIP has now lost its only two members who have ever served as MPs.
Here is Reckless’ statement:
Reckless claims to have rejoined the Tories but Welsh Assembly rules state that he cannot join another party and must vote as an independent. The Assembly’s President Officer told the Welsh Conservatives that Reckless can be “treated” as a member of the group in procedure only.
Reckless made the headlines in 2014 when he quit David Cameron’s Conservatives to join UKIP. He won the subsequent by-election in his Rochester and Strood seat but was voted out at the 2015 general election.
Speaking about the prospect of Reckless quitting UKIP earlier this week, the party’s former leader Farage said: “I have always liked Mark Reckless, but if he thinks he can just leave after being elected on a list system that is very dishonourable behaviour.”
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