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Leading role for Reckless in the Welsh elections

Mark Reckless to take leading role in Welsh Assembly Credit: ITV News Meridian

A former Rochester and Strood MP who defected from the Conservatives to UKIP is to take a leading role in the Welsh elections.

Mark Reckless will write UKIP's manifesto for next year's election in Wales. He says he'll now spend part of his time in Wales working with members. UKIP is on course to win a handful of seats in the Cardiff Assembly in the election next May.

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Are UKIP set to lose Rochester & Strood?

An unsmiling Mark Reckless arrives at the Rochester and Strood count where he is briefed by a party worker who has been monitoring the counting of votes.

Cameron in UKIP clash at PMQs

Mark Reckless, the UKIP MP for Rochester and Strood, challenged the Prime Minister to debate with Nigel Farage. Mr Cameron replied by accusing UKIP of wanting to privatise the NHS.

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Rochester & Strood by-election result - ITV News Meridian

Sangeeta Bhabra and Fred Dinenage with comprehensive coverage of the Rochester & Strood by-election result. Philip Hornby, our Political Correspondent, joined them live from the constituency. The coverage from our flagship show for the South East at 6pm - we alway bring you the news FIRST.

  1. National

Farage: Tories 'tried too hard' in by-election campaign

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has welcomed the election of Ukip’s second MP, as Mark Reckless was voted in after a by-election in Rochester and Strood.

Nigel Farage says the Tories 'tried too hard' in by-election campaign Credit: Pool

In interview today, Mr Farage said he believed the Tories had “tried too hard” in their election campaign, and said he believed Mr Reckless had done the right thing by letting his constituents decide whether to keep him in his seat after defecting.

I think what Mark Reckless did was he didn’t just cross the floor and defect to Ukip, he said ‘I’m resigning my seat, I’m trusting you, the people of Rochester and Strood, to decide to back me or sack me. And people like that – they admire courage, they admire bravery, they admire decency. I think the second reason is - I actually think the Conservatives tried too hard. This full-scale bombardment, the numbers of phone calls houses were getting, that sort of thing.

– Nigel Farage

He denied that he was riding on the back of protest votes, saying people "absolutely believed" in what the party stands for.

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