The former Conservative Member of Parliament who defected to UKIP before departing the party under a cloud last month has announced he will not be seeking re-election, and will support the Conservative candidate.
Having said he would stand as an independent in the forthcoming June 8th election, former UKIP MP Douglas Carswell revealed lunchtime Thursday he would withdraw from the electoral race in Clacton, the seat he has represented for seven years.
In a statement released on his website, the Member of Parliament whose time in UKIP was characterised by frequent disagreements with senior figures culminating in accusations that he had joined the party as a Tory plant said: “I have decided that I will not now be seeking re-election. I intend to vote Conservative on June 8th and will be offering my full support to whoever the Clacton Constituency Conservatives select as their candidate.”
“Having been an MP for about half my adult life, I believe that it is time for me to move on to other things. I look forward to being able to read newspapers without appearing in them.”
Reacting to the news that Carswell would not stand again as it broke on the Breitbart Daily Show on Sirius XM, Nigel Farage said: “[Douglas Carswell has] been so thoroughly dishonest with everybody especially his constituents that I’m not even going to stoop to commenting on his withdrawal from politics. I’m just not going to get involved in that”.
The notification by Carswell that he would not be continuing as an independent leaves Arron Banks, the millionaire donor who bankrolled the Brexit campaign, as the only declared candidate in the seat. Clearly undecided on whether to continue standing after the announcement, a statement released by Banks said: “I’m pleased to see that Lyin’ Doug Carswell has gone down the plug… The people of that constituency deserve better than that low-energy, turncoat Tory, who UKIP should have known was a snake before they took him in.
“For myself, I’m still deciding if making Clacton great again should be our first priority – but with Crooked Carswell out of the picture, it’s prospects are already huge.”
Recent claims about Mr. Carswell, who has said he only joined UKIP from the Conservatives to make sure they “didn’t run the referendum campaign”, state his intention was to “neutralise” then leader Nigel Farage. When Mr. Farage stood down as leader, Mr. Carswell’s twitter account marked the occasion by publishing a smiling face emoticon, apparently in celebration.