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PM warns over Ukip by-election vote

Victory for the UK Independence Party in next week's crunch Rochester and Strood by-election would put the country at greater risk of "insecurity and instability in our economy", David Cameron has warned.

Polls suggest Mr Cameron's Tories are facing defeat in the November 20 contest at the hands of Nigel Farage's Ukip, which is aiming to elect its second MP to Parliament.

Mr Cameron warned voters in the Kent constituency that they risk becoming another notch on the bedpost of Mr Farage's party, who would celebrate victory with "a pint in the pub" but would not represent local people as well as Tory candidate Kelly Tolhurst.

Speaking to the BBC during a round of interviews at the G20 summit in Australia, Mr Cameron said: " What's at stake in the Rochester by-election is whether the people of Rochester and Strood want to have a really first-class local Member of Parliament - which is what Kelly Tolhurst would be - working for local people and therefore the by-election would be all about the people of Rochester and Strood.

"If on the other hand they vote Ukip, it won't be about the people of Rochester and Strood, it will be about Ukip. It'll be about another sort of notch for them.

"They will all celebrate with a pint in the pub and there will be a greater danger of insecurity and instability in our economy. T hat's the choice and we will fight very hard right up to polling day."

There has been widespread speculation that victory for Mark Reckless, who quit as a Tory MP to stand for Ukip in Rochester and Strood, could spark a wave of defections among Mr Cameron's eurosceptic backbenchers.

But the Tory leader declined to discuss the possible impact of defeat on the Conservatives.

"When we have the result, you can come along and ask me a question," he said. "Until then - when I'm not here - I'm going to work very hard with the Conservative team to get behind Kelly Tolhurst, the only proper local candidate who's lived there and worked there all her life, because I think she would do best for the people of Rochester and Strood.

"When we've had the result, then we can have a talk about it."


From Belfast Telegraph