Mark Reckless joins Welsh Conservative Group in the Senedd

Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Archive/PA Images

Tory defector Mark Reckless has quit UKIP and joined the Conservatives in the Welsh Assembly, it has been confirmed.

The Welsh AM and former MP came to prominence when he quit Tory ranks at Westminster to join UKIP.

But after winning a by-election in his Rochester and Strood seat, he was voted out of the Commons in the 2015 general election.

Speculation had been mounting that Reckless might vote with the Conservatives at the Welsh Assembly, but not formally re-join the party.

In a statement this afternoon, Reckless confirmed that he was not actually becoming a member of his old party but wanted to be "part of a strong and united team of Assembly Members in Cardiff Bay".

Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Welsh Conservative group, said he looks forward to working with Reckless.

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage had urged him to stay with the party, saying he would be "very disappointed" if he left.

UKIP Chairman Paul Oakden also said the party was "disappointed" at the news, adding: "It is now incumbent on Mark Reckless to relinquish a position he has only by virtue of a UKIP mandate."

More: Assembly Presiding Officer allows Reckless defection