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Reaction to MP's defection to Ukip

Today Mr Reckless returned to his seat of Rochester and Strood after telling the Ukip conference in Yorkshire he was jumping ship. His move has caused bitter recriminations in the constituency he has represented for four years. David Johns' report includes some flash photography. He talks to local voters, then Naushabah Khan, the Labour candidate for Rochester & Strood as well as Antony Hook who's from the south east Liberal Democrats.

UKIP leader joins the campaign trail after MP defects

As Conservatives gathered in Birmingham today for the start of the party's conference - the leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage, took the opportunity to introduce constituents in Rochester to his new recruit. Mark Reckless joined him as they met potential voters for the by-election he triggered with his resignation as a Tory MP for the area yesterday.

Sarah Saunders spoke to former Conservative MP Mark Reckless, UKIP leader Nigel Farage and Labour candidate for the area, Naushabah Khan.

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Mark Reckless joins UKIP Leader in Rochester

Mark Reckless welcomed to UKIP by party leader, Nigel Farage Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

The former Conservative MP for Rochester and Strood has been in the constituency today with UKIP Leader Nigel Farage.

He appeared on stage at UKIPs conference yesterday to announce he had resigned and joined the party - in doing so he triggered a by-election.

Dover protest passed off "peacefully"

Police in Kent say a protest at Dover Eastern Docks was peaceful. A small group of protestors held a short demonstration outside the Port yesterday. Only one person was reported for summons for wilful obstruction of a highway.

They marched in support of lorry drivers. Hauliers can be hit with hefty fines if they are found carrying illegal immigrants trying to stow away in their lorries as they travel from Calais. However a number of far-right groups descended on the town to take part in the protest.

‘Through our Protest Liaison Officers, we were able to actively engage with the protestors to ensure Kent Police facilitated what was a peaceful demonstration, while at the same time ensuring public safety and allowing people to go about their daily business.

‘There was no disruption to both the Eastern and Western Docks and the impact on the highways around the Port of Dover was kept to a minimum during the protest.

‘There has been no impact on the community of Dover with Local District Policing Team officers continuing to work in their communities.’

– Steve Corbishley, Chief Superintendent of Kent Police
Police say Dover protest passed off Credit: Meridian

Far-right groups turn out to protest at Port of Dover

Protestors briefly blockaded the Port of Dover today as they marched in support of lorry drivers. Hauliers can be hit with hefty fines if they are found carrying illegal immigrants trying to stow away in their lorries as they travel from Calais. A number of far-right groups descended on the town to take part in the protest. Sarah Saunders reports from Dover.

Rochester & Strood Conservative's shocked by MP's defection to UKIP

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Rochester and Strood by-election not straightforward

The Rochester and Strood by-election won't be as straightforward for UKIP as Clacton seems to be.

As Mark Reckless told the UKIP conference today, "Rochester is not Clacton".

It certainly didn't figure high up on UKIP's list of target seats - until about 3 o'clock this afternoon. And Mr Reckless probably doesn't have the same personal followng as Douglas Carswell.

But, in the Medway Council area as a whole, UKIP won the European elections, getting almost twice as many votes as the Tories. And voters there consistently say immigration is their top concern.

We don't know the date of the by-election yet, but it will come after the two taking place on October 9th. So UKIP will be able to put all their resources into Rochester and Strood.

If Mr Reckless does manage to overturn his own 10,000 majority, it will be another one of those political earthquakes Nigel Farage likes to talk about. And perhaps the most significant so far.

Phil Hornby ITV Political Correspondent

Mark Reckless MP: I will resign my seat and trigger a by-election

Mr Reckless announced that he will quit as an MP so he can trigger a by-election and fight the Kent seat as a Ukip candidate.

He told activists he answered to his constituents and wanted to seek their permission to change allegiance. "They are the boss and if I am to seek to represent them under different colours, I hope in a party that is closer to their values, then I shall ask their permission," he said.

"So I will resign my seat in Parliament, trigger a by-election and, your national executive allowing, stand for Ukip."

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