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Flag of St George flies outside Labour MP's London home

Former shadow cabinet member and University of Kent student, Emily Thornberry MP, issued an apology on Twitter after being criticised for the tweet she posted from Rochester & Strood. It's not known who put the flag up outside her London home.

Mark Reckless wastes no time returning to the Commons

Mark Reckless has wasted no time in returning to the Commons, arriving in Westminster just hours after his victory in the Rochester and Strood by-election for UKIP.

In a tweet posted this morning, he's revealed he will be sworn in as an MP at 9.30am.


'Father Christmas' arrives at by-election count on decorated scooter

Independent candidate Mike Barker brightened up proceedings at the Rochester and Strood by-election when he arrived dressed as Father Christmas on a scooter decorated with bright fairy lights.

Mr Barker came 10th, polling just 54 votes.

He later spent time chatting with Hairy Knorm Davidson from the Loony Party. Mr Davidson polled marginally better, picking up 151 votes and coming sixth behind the Lib Dem candidate Geoff Juby.

Mike Barker (Ind) dressed as Santa chats with Loony candidate, Hairy Knorm Davidson Credit: ITV Meridian

Rochester and Strood by-election - full results

The full results from last night's Rochester and Strood by-election:

  • Mark Reckless (UKIP) 16,867
  • Kelly Tolhurst (Con) 13,947
  • Naushabah Khan (Lab) 6,713
  • Clive Gregory (Green) 1,692
  • Geoff Juby (LD) 349
  • Hairy Knorm Davidson (Loony) 151
  • Stephen Goldsbrough (Ind) 69
  • Nick Long (PBP) 69
  • Jayda Fransen (Britain 1st) 56
  • Mike Barker (Ind) 54
  • Charlotte Rose (Ind) 43
  • Dave Osborn (Pat Soc) 33
  • Christopher Challis (Ind) 22

UKIP majority: 2,920 Turnout: 40,065 (50.61%)

  1. National

Farage predicts more defections to Ukip before election

Nigel Farage has told Good Morning Britain he would be "very surprised" if more MPs didn't defect to Ukip between now and the General Election.

The Ukip leader said Michael Gove was "very silly" for saying he was 100 per cent certain that no more Tories would follow Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless in switching parties.

"I don't expect defections today or tomorrow, but over the next few weeks people will think very hard about it," he said.

"I would be very surprised if more people didn't join us between now and the next election," he added.

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