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Friday, April 12, 2024

I have wanted Douglas Carswell out of Ukip since 2015

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Mr Farage and Mr Carswell in happier times CREDIT:  SUZANNE PLUNKETT/REUTERS

It was on these pages that I broke my public silence and asked for Douglas Carswell to leave Ukip a few weeks ago.

His unsurprising resignation at the weekend and his intent to sit as an independent, at least for the moment, is good news for the party.

At the end of 2015, I tried to get the Ukip NEC to remove him, as it was clear he would work with his old Tory friends in the upcoming referendum and try to split us as much as he possibly could.

Douglas Carswell
Carswell ‘decided to jump before he was pushed’ CREDIT: JULIAN SIMMONDS

He believed immigration should not be an issue 
in the campaign and wrote the Leave side should not make the issue synonymous with EU membership in a national newspaper.

Our kindhearted members on the National Executive Committee simply would not believe he wasn’t one of us.

Now, with growing anger at his lack of support for the party, the end was getting close and he decided to jump before he was pushed.

Farage and Carswell

Paul Nuttall is now free to give the party direction without constant briefing against his strong position on border controls. He is, as I know, a mightily relieved man today.

Whilst this is a truly historic week with the triggering of Article 50, the great battle is far from over, as Carswell contends.

Already the Government are sending soft signals on the reclamation of our 200 mile exclusive fishing zone.

Amber Rudd
Amber Rudd wants to keep Britain within European security arrangements CREDIT: JAMES GOURLEY/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

Worse still, our Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, has said: “Britain will try to remain in European security organisations.”

That means we will still be subject to the European Arrest Warrant and decisions made by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. This is precisely what we voted against in June last year.

Without a strong Ukip, we will finish up with the will of the people not being fully honoured. There is still much to fight for and I am sure many out there agree when I say I am not prepared to leave the rest of this great task up to Theresa May unchallenged.

Carswell Farage
Mr Carswell ‘may well have the chance in the coming months to prove just how honourable he is’ CREDIT: OLI SCARFF/GETTY 

From the start, Douglas Carswell has painted himself out to be different than all the rest. He has always said he is against arrogant politicians in Westminster going against the will of the people. Nobody in Parliament has pushed harder for recall.

The rules that he himself wanted put into law was for 20 per cent of any constituency to have the ability to force a by-election and remove their Member of Parliament. We will now put this to the test by writing to every house in Clacton to see if voters feel betrayed.

Due to the demographics of it being the number one seat for Eurosceptics in the country, the reaction to our initiative will be interesting. Douglas may well have the chance in the coming months to prove just how honourable he is.

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