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Ukip defection 'right thing to do'

Tory defector Mark Reckless has rejected charges he acted in bad faith in leaving the party and switching to Ukip.

Conservatives reacted with fury after the MP for Rochester and Strood declared - on the eve of the Tory Party conference in Birmingham - that he was joining Ukip, despite assurances he had no intention of defecting.

However, Mr Reckless insisted he was trying to do the "right thing" by his constituents and accused David Cameron of breaking his election promises.

"I made a lot of promises to my constituents and I want to keep those promises on immigration, on the deficit, on political reform. The Prime Minister isn't keeping those promises, I want to do so and that's why I'm moving to Ukip," he told BBC1's Sunday Politics.

"We made all these promises in 2010 as Conservatives and they have been broken. David Cameron has had his chance, he hasn't kept his promises, I want to keep mine."

Mr Reckless was confronted with a message he left on Tory Party chairman Grant Shapps's voicemail the night before he defected in which he said he would be "very happy" to take part in a Conservative campaign event the next day.

"I sound a little more hesitant on that call than I usually do," he said, adding, "You can't discuss these things in advance. You have to make a decision and you have to move at a particular point in time."

He said that in standing down as an MP in order to contest the seat in as a Ukip candidate in a by-election, he was putting his political career "on the line".

"I'm being open, I'm being honest, I'm giving people a say, I'm trying to do the right thing by my constituents.

"Whatever the risk is to me personally, I think that's the right thing to do."

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