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Carswell receives standing ovation at conference

Nigel Farage and Douglas Carswell Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Conservative defector Douglas Carswell received a standing ovation today as he said to his new party's conference: "Doesn't it feel great to be part of Ukip? Me too."

The former Tory MP for Clacton, who plans to fight next month's by-election as a Ukip candidate, addressed his party's conference in Doncaster, saying "you've made me feel so incredibly welcome, thank you".

He added: "The support has been incredibly touching."

Leaving the Conservative Party was, he said, "one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to take".

But Mr Carswell hit out at his former party's leadership.

He said: "The problem is those at the top of the Conservative Party, they are not on our side, they aren't serious about the change that I think this country needs. They are all talk."

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Conservative party chooses actor as Clacton by-election candidate

Giles Watling has been chosen as the Conservative's parliamentary candidate for the Clacton by-election.

The Conservatives have selected actor Giles Watling to represent them in the Clacton by-election next month.

The former Bread star was chosen during an open primary in Essex this evening.

The by-election was prompted by Douglas Carswell's resignation after the former Tory MP defected to UKIP.

Clacton by-election timetable finalised

The Clacton by-election has been confirmed on Thursday 9 October 2014. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The writ for the by-election in Clacton has been delivered to the Acting Returning Officer and has been confirmed as Thursday 9 October.

People wanting to stand need to get their nominations in by 4pm on Tuesday 16 September. Voters not on the electoral register have until Tuesday 23 September to register.

Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm.

Acting Returning Officer Ian Davidson outside Clacton Town Hall with the Writ requiring the Parliamentary By-Election. Credit: Tendring Council

A by-election for the Brightlingsea division of Essex County Council will be held on the same day. It follows the resignation of Roger Lord from UKIP. He had been adopted as the party's parliamentary candidate until he was replaced by Douglas Carswell who defected from the Conservative Party to UKIP.

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Lifeboat crew rescue seasick sailors

Volunteer lifeboat crews from Essex rescued two elderly sailors who were suffering from exhaustion and severe seasickness.

Clacton RNLI’s Atlantic 85 was called to the aid of the pair on board a 28ft yacht, off Colne Point, St Osyth, at 10.55pm on Sunday.

Helmsman Danny Thatcher said the yacht was anchored four miles from Clacton, near the Bench Head Buoy, when the couple called for help.

“The couple were suffering from exhaustion and severe seasickness.
They were given first aid and we then evacuated them to the boathouse in Clacton to be checked over by paramedics, who were waiting as we arrived back. We then returned to the yacht and towed it to Brightlingsea, where it was met by Coastguard and the vessel’s owners.”

– Danny Thatcher, Helmsman

Roger Lord quits politics ahead of by-election

Roger Lord, the Ukip candidate for Clacton in Essex who was effectively sidelined when local MP Douglas Carswell defected to his party from the Tories, has decided to quit politics.

Roger Lord Credit: PA Wire

Mr Lord, a farmer from Great Bentley, was set to fight Mr Carswell at the next general election.

But after Mr Carswell quit as a Tory MP, triggering a by election, he has been selected to stand for UkIp.

Mr Lord said he had been actively undermined by UKip and was standing down as a county councillor as well.

Birthday by-election treat for David Cameron in Clacton

Former Tory MP for Clacton, Douglas Carswell on a walkabout in the Essex seaside town following his defection from the Conservative Party. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Clacton by-election caused by the defection of Douglas Carswell form the Conservatives to UKIP will be held on Thursday 9 October.

It's the same day as David Cameron's 48th birthday but could be an unwelcome present as polls indicate the Tories face a tough fight to retain the Essex constituency.

An opinion poll in the seat suggested that he enjoys a significant lead and is on track to become the first person to be elected to Parliament for UKIP.

The party's only previous MP, Bob Spink, did not seek a fresh mandate when he defected from the Tories in 2008 in the Castle Point seat in south Essex.

Mr Carswell had been Conservative MP for Clacton since 2010, having previously served as MP for Harwich from 2005-10 before boundary changes.

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