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  1. National

Carswell plans Westminster 'shake up' after defection

Defecting Conservative MP Douglas Carswell says he want to "shake up" the Westminster "clique" with his move to Ukip.

Carswell said the Conservatives' failure to take a stand against the European Union was at the heart of his decision.

ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports:

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Miliband: Carswell defection shows 'divided' Tories

Ed Miliband has tweeted that Douglas Carswell's defection show the Conservatives are "too divided to stand up for hard-working families".

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Local party: Carswell defection a 'bolt from the blue'

A senior Tory in Douglas Carswell's Clacton constituency has said news of his defection to Ukip has come as a "bolt from the blue".

Mick Page, the leader of Tendring District Council, which covers Clacton said: "That's come as a shock - a bolt from the blue."

Speaking to the Press Association he added: "We always thought he was a Conservative very much against Europe but we thought he would work within the party to achieve his aims. As far as I'm aware the Conservative association had no warning of this."

Essex MP calls for more Conservative clarity on EU following Carswell defection

A Conservative MP in Essex is calling for more clarity on Europe from the Tory leadership following the defection of Clacton MP Douglas Carswell to UKIP.

John Baron, the MP for Basildon and Billericay said: "I'm sorry that Douglas is leaving us. Every MP must make their own decisions about these matters but I do think it will yet again focus the Conservative Party and indeed the country on getting our relations right with the EU."

Mr Baron said he would stay in the Conservative Party but he is calling for more clarity on which powers the party would like to repatriate if they win the next election.

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Carswell: 'Tories aren't serious about change UK needs'

Douglas Carswell has said he is leaving the Conservative Party because too much of the leadership "aren't serious about the change that Britain so desperately needs".

The Clacton MP says too many Conservatives "talk the talk" on key issues at elections but have not done enough to make change happen.

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Carswell: 'I've not spoken to PM about defection'

Tory MP Douglas Carswell revealed he had not told David Cameron he was defecting to Ukip.

The Prime Minister and Mr Carswell's relationship has not always been friendly, with Mr Cameron once telling the Clacton MP he needed to "get a sense of humour".

ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand is following updates from the special Ukip press conference at which Mr Carswell is speaking.

Carswell to resign seat and stand in by-election

Clacton MP Douglas Carswell has said he will stand down as an MP and then stand for Ukip in the resulting by-election following his defection from the Tories.

He today announced that he would be leaving the Conservative Party, claiming the party's leadership are "not serious" about the change the UK needs.

If successful, Mr Carswell would become the eurosceptic party's first Westminster MP.

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