BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom – Conservatives have used the first day of their annual conference in Birmingham to accuse Mark Reckless of “betrayal” for his defection UKIP. The Rochester and Strood MP was the shock final speaker at UKIP’s conference, where he announced he would follow Douglas Carswell in standing down as an MP and fight a by-election for his new party.
At the open session of conference Party Chairman Grant Shapps claimed that Reckless had “lied, and lied and lied”, including phoning around potential supporters of a major campaign day being held today in order to prove his loyalty to the party.
The campaign day was led by Shapps immediately after his speech and was supported by several hundred activists. They went out to support a local conservative candidate in Birmingham.
Shapps said: “We have been let down by somebody who has repeatedly lied to his constituents, and to you. Who said one thing, and then did another. Last month, he looked us in the eye, and said only our Prime Minister could secure a say for the British people on Europe.
“Last week, he insisted he would be campaigning for an outright Conservative victory. Two days ago, he was busy leaving phone messages, claiming he was enthusiastic about joining us to campaign for Rachel Maclean here in Birmingham today. He lied and lied and lied.”
In an earlier private session open only to party members, Breitbart London understands the Prime Minister launched a scathing attack on Reckless. One party figure claimed the Prime Minister was “furious with Reckless and was absolutely determined to win his seat at the by-election.”
At UKIP conference Reckless conceded the by-election was a major risk as his seat was not even within the top hundred targets for Farage. Today Conservatives appeared confident of winning, an attitude that is in sharp contrast to their pessimistic mood about Clacton.
The date for the by-election has not yet been set, and whatever the result the defection has caused major embarrassment to the Conservatives as they try to gear up for next year’s general election.