The Daily Telegraph
Ukip to ask voters in Clacton if they want a by-election
DOUGLAS CARSWELL is facing pressure to call a by-election after Nigel Farage said voters in the former Ukip MP’s Clacton seat would be asked if they wanted one.
Ex-Ukip donor Arron Banks will pay for the Electoral Reform Society to canvas Clacton on a by-election after Mr Carswell quit Ukip on Saturday.
Mr Farage, a former Ukip leader, said the plan would “test how honourable he is” because in 2012 Mr Carswell said an MP should call a by-election if more than a fifth of voters wanted one.
Mr Carswell insisted he would not call an election because he had not switched parties and he refused to rule out rejoining the Conservatives before the next general election, telling the BBC’s Sunday Politics programme: “Let’s wait and see.”
MPs can only be legally required to face a “recall petition” if they are sent to prison or suspended from the Commons for at least 21 days. In these circumstances, “at least 10 per cent of eligible electors” have to agree.
Asked if he was “gutted” by the departure, Mr Farage said: “Thank God. No! He’s been working against us for a very long time.” Ukip leader Paul Nuttall said: “Ukip will be opening nominations for Clacton very soon.”
Ukip is refusing to pay back £200,000 to Mr Banks for use of his call centres and membership services. Asked if he would pay the cash back, Mr Nuttall said: “No, no.”