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Deposed Ukip candidate calls Carswell an 'idiot'

Roger Lord, who had been the Ukip general election candidate for Clacton until Douglas Carswell jumped ship yesterday, has called the Tory defector an "idiot".

"If somebody pushes me, I'm going to push back," he said. "Has he [Carswell] got a membership card? I'm not sure he's officially a member yet."

Mr Lord told ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Weiner that Mr Carswell "could have said sorry, but he hasn't got the guts to do it".

Salmond: Yes campaign still the underdog

Alex Salmond said the Yes campaign remained the underdog in the run-up to the September 18 referendum, despite a new poll showing an increase in support.

Alex Salmond
First Minister Alex Salmond visits a children's play centre in Edinburgh today. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The First Minister said it was "comforting and encouraging" that the No campaign's lead had been cut to just six percentage points, according to a Survation poll for the Scottish Daily Mail.

However, Mr Salmond stressed: "The polls are with us, but we're not there yet, we're still behind, we're still the underdogs, we've still got work to do, we're still trying harder ... to convince our fellow citizens that Yes offers the right vote for the future."

He also joined the Prime Minister in condemning the Yes supporter who pelted Scottish Labour MP Jim Murphy with eggs in Kirkcaldy, Fife yesterday.

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Carswell denies 'stabbing David Cameron in back'

Douglas Carswell has denied suggestions he stabbed David Cameron in the back by defecting to Ukip.

He told ITV News' Libby Weiner he had nothing against "nice guy" David Cameron, but had to leave the Conservatives because the Prime Minister was "not serious about change".

He questioned what the difference would be if Ed Miliband's "gang replaced the current gang" in Number 10.

Cameron: No vote means security for Scotland

David Cameron has urged the No campaign to continue promoting "a secure future" for Scotland as part of the UK compared with the "insecurity" of independence.

The Prime Minister was speaking this morning at a marine engineering company in Loanhead, Midlothian that makes parts for Royal Navy submarines.

"I think it's certainty versus uncertainty, a secure future versus insecurity, the known versus the unknown and the warmth of the UK family of nations versus an irreversible decision to separate," Mr Cameron said.

"And I think if the No campaign makes that argument, which is a mostly positive argument but is not frightened of calling out the Yes campaign on their totally failing to answer the question, then I'm sure we can secure the right result."

David Cameron
David Cameron visits engineering company MacTaggart Scott in Loanhead, Midlothian today. Credit: Danny Lawson/Reuters

Osborne laments Carswell defection to Ukip

George Osborne has labelled the defection of Douglas Carswell to Ukip as "regrettable and counter-productive".

Speaking in Brighton today, the Chancellor said that the best way to secure a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union was to have a Conservative government after the next election.

"That's the choice people are going to face, whether it's at the by-election in Clacton or at the general election next year," Mr Osborne said.

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Carswell and Farage take to the streets of Clacton

Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, and the party's new candidate for Clacton have been campaigning on the streets of the seaside town this morning.

Nigel Farage and Douglas Carswell
Nigel Farage and Douglas Carswell in Clacton today. Credit: ITV News/Adam Smith

Douglas Carswell will contest the seat for the eurosceptic party after defecting from the Conservatives yesterday, triggering a by-election for the constituency.

Farage warns 'prepare for more defections to Ukip'

Nigel Farage has reiterated more Conservative and Labour MPs are set to defect to Ukip following Douglas Carswell shock move from the Tories.

While on the campaign trail with Mr Carswell in Clacton this morning, Mr Farage said he expected more to jump ship if the Tory defector wins the by-election.

Mr Farage said, "Let's see what happens in this by-election, but if Douglas wins this by-election there'll be others - not just in the Conservatives but on the Labour backbenches too".

Redwood dismisses fears of more Ukip defections

Conservative grandee John Redwood has dismissed the "so-called" eight Tory MPs allegedly considering defection to Ukip as "figments of Ukip's imagination".

John Redwood MP
John Redwood does not believe more Tory MPs will defect to Ukip. Credit: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

"Dream on Ukip," the eurosceptic MP for Wokingham and former Wales Secretary told Radio 4's Today programme.

"I treasure the words of Mr Carswell which he was speaking yesterday. He said that we need to deliver an in-out referendum, he said it would only happen if David Cameron was prime minister," Mr Redwood said.

"He said we must do nothing to make the prospect of a referendum less likely. He was super-loyal until yesterday."

Ukip candidate for Clacton vows to fight Carswell

Ukip's general election candidate for Clacton has vowed to fight Douglas Carswell for the party's nomination in the upcoming by-election.

Roger Lord said he would "absolutely" fight for the nomination. "I have been assured I will get a fair hearing," he told Radio 4's Today programme.

Douglas Carswell and Nigel Farage
Douglas Carswell, the Conservative MP who defected to UKIP, with party leader Nigel Farage. Credit: Toby Melville/Reuters

Asked whether he would step aside to make way for Mr Carswell, Mr Lord replied, "We are not a party that stands down. We don't bend, we don't break. We fight."

Mr Lord also accused Mr Carswell of jumping ship from the Conservatives because the water was "around his ankles".

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