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A second Tory MP is defecting to Ukip: Here's what you need to know

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When Ukip won the European elections in the UK earlier this year, leader Nigel Farage said "the Ukip fox is amongst the Westminster chickens".

The anti-politics vibe that has served the party so well was evident on the final day of their conference in Doncaster when some actual news happened - this very rarely happens at party conferences.

The news being the second defection of a Tory MP to Ukip, with Mark Reckless (sic) following Douglas Carswell to switch to Ukip.

In a surprise speech to delegates, the MP for Rochester and Strood said he was joining Ukip.

"I found that it's impossible to keep these promises as Conservative and that is why I am joining Ukip," he said.

Despite having a great name, it's not exactly a household one, so here's what you need to know about Mr Reckless MP.


1) Whoever updates his social media is very quick off the mark.

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2) He was one of six Tory MPs to vote against military strikes against Isis in Iraq.

He told MPs during the debate: "Surely, humility and modesty should be our watchwords in this debate, if only because the reductions we have made to the size of our armed forces across the Army, Navy and, I am afraid, Air Force are so significant; yet we do not seem to have made the same reduction in our leading politicians’ desire to intervene across the world with the relatively modest armed forces that we still have."


3) He was best man at ultra-eurosceptic Tory MEP Daniel Hannan's wedding.

"He insisted on organising my stag night in Reykjavik, determined that we should celebrate Iceland’s status outside the EU," Mr Hannan wrote.


4) He is taking a leaf out of Carswell's book by standing for re-election on a Ukip ticket rather than waiting until the next general election; triggering another by-election.


5) Since becoming an MP at the last election he earned a reputation of being one of the most rebellious Tories in the Commons, voting against the rise in tuition fees and leading the rebellion on the EU budget that inflicted a first defeat upon the coalition. The latter led to what surely must rank as a career highlight; being named as the TaxPayers' Alliance pin-up of the year.

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6) His voting profile on TheyWorkForYou reveals the true extent of his Ukip credentials, abstaining on smoking ban legislation and rejecting raising benefits for those unable to work.


7) He analysed the results of the Scottish independence referendum thusly:


8) He is a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, and was among the MPs who grilled the officials connected to the child sexual abuse scandal in Rotherham.


9) Weeks after being elected he got so drunk at the Commons he was unable to vote on George Osborne's austerity Budget. He later vowed to never drink in Westminster again.


10) The bottom line however is that his defection is a major headache for David Cameron on the eve of the Conservative Party conference, and has energised the Ukip faithful, who chanted "Ukip, Ukip!" when the defection was announced.


More: Nigel Farage's speech makes more sense when you only read his notes

More: What the government isn't telling you about Isis (according to Ukip)

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