Douglas Carswell, UKIP’s newly elected MP, has suggested the next defector to the party will be from Labour, according to the Sunday Times. He claimed to have had a discussion with an unnamed Labour MP on Friday morning and they discussed his or her defection directly.
The Clacton MP said that it would be “counter productive” to “swank around” telling MPs they must defect to UKIP. Instead he claimed he would take on a much softer approach to MPs, many of whom he said were “bitter and disappointed”.
He also refused to tell the Times who the mysterious Labour defector is, leading to significant the Westminster rumour mill going into overdrive. Some of the names linked to the defection rumour are Simon Danczuk MP for Rochdale, Austin Mitchell MP for Grimsby and Frank Field MP for Birkenhead.
UKIP itself is full of rumours and theories but Nigel Farage has kept his first two defections so close to his chest that even his own MEPs and National Executive Committee members did not know about them. This means that most names linked are based on nothing more than their public statements and idol speculation.
The suggestion that a Labour MP may defect looks much more likely after the party barely held the safe seat of Heywood and Middleton on Thursday. At the start of the campaign Labour were polling 19 points ahead but by the day of the by-election they beat UKIP by just 617 votes, leading to suggestions that Labour MPs could defect and still hold their seats.
Aside from speculation about defections Carswell also confirmed that he would sit on the opposition benches but would continue to advocate an electoral pact with Eurosceptic Conservatives. He said he would continue a campaign for the pact that he began unsuccessfully when he was a Tory MP.
He was also scathing about the main parties, and the way they have taken voters for granted over years. He said: “For years and years and years, like monopolistic businesses, they assumed the customers had nowhere else to go. Then UKIP came along… they assumed that their own party had nowhere else to go. Well, guess what, guys, they do.”
He continued: “I’m not interested in Ed and Dave and which one of them sits on the Downing Street sofa. I’ve got a five-year-old daughter. I believe so strongly that her life chances would be better if we leave the EU that I’m perfectly prepared to wait until she’s 15.”
Carswell said his number one immediate priority was to get Mark Reckless elected in Rochester and Strood. It is still not clear when the by-election will take place, but as previously reported on Breitbart London it only takes one MP to move the writ. If Carswell moved it he would be breaking a convention, but does have the right nonetheless.