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I'm 100% Ukip, insists party's only MP Douglas Carswell

Ukip's only MP has insisted he is "100%" behind the party following claims he was seeking to rejoin the Tories.

Douglas Carswell pledged his loyalty to Ukip after Nigel Farage intensified his war of words with the MP by claiming the Tory defector never really left the Conservatives.

Mr Carswell told the Press Association: "I'm 100% Ukip."

Former Ukip leader Mr Farage urged colleagues to expel the Clacton MP after an extraordinary day of public backbiting in the party.

Amid reports that Mr Carswell was in talks with the Tories about switching back, Mr Farage told the Press Association: "Did he ever leave the Conservatives? He was certainly representing them during the referendum campaign."

Mr Farage said the MP had to go because "I don't want my successor to have to put up with the same sabotage and division that I did".

Mr Carswell said he had an "amicable" meeting on Tuesday with party chairman Paul Oakden and was happy to continue to represent Ukip in the Commons.

He said: "Contrary to a lot of speculation, we had a very polite and amicable meeting. I think he has done a wonderful job as party chairman."

As the party descended into fresh chaos after Mr Farage called for the MP to be ousted, leader Paul Nuttall asked Mr Oakden to meet Mr Carswell for talks.

Mr Farage unleashed his attacks on Mr Carswell as the row heated up over claims that the MP played a role in blocking a knighthood for the former leader.

Leaked emails show Mr Carswell joked that Mr Farage should be given an OBE "for services to headline writers".

The MP, who defected from the Conservatives in 2014, responded with a provocative late-night tweet saying "Knight night".

This prompted millionaire Ukip funder Arron Banks to declare he is ready to stand against Mr Carswell in the 2020 general election.

Mr Farage said the comments should not be taken "too seriously".

However, a later tweet suggested Mr Banks was taking his challenge to Mr Carswell seriously and making practical arrangements to prepare an election campaign.

"We will have a high street shop in Clacton, professional agent appointed soon and I will be rolling my sleeves up," said Mr Banks.

Leading Eurosceptic Daniel Hannan said Mr Farage had been "angry" since Mr Carswell was elected in 2015, a feat the former Ukip leader failed to do.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the Tory MEP said: "Now you can disagree with Douglas politically, but you can't question his integrity.

"He gave up a comfortable majority in his Clacton seat, and had the courage to hold a by-election so that his constituents could approve or remove him.

"He then devoted all his energy to winning the EU referendum.

"Yet Nigel won't accept the obvious explanation (for his failure)."


From Belfast Telegraph