Receive up-to-the-minute news updates on the hottest topics with NewsHub. Install now.

Clacton MP Douglas Carswell will NOT seek re-election ... and will vote Conservative

April 20, 2017 2:26 PM
109 17
Clacton MP Douglas Carswell will NOT seek re-election ... and will vote Conservative

CLACTON'S independent MP Douglas Carswell has announced he will not stand in the upcoming election.

Mr Carswell, who has represented the town since 2005, added that he will vote Conservative in the snap General Election on June 8.

The former Tory MP caused controversy when he joined Ukip in 2014 before becoming an independent MP last month.

Speaking to the Gazette, Mr Carswell denied he was afraid of losing the election.

“I have fought five election campaigns in the past 16 years and won four of them – and helped to win the referendum campaign," he said.

“Every time I did that I was the outsider and the underdog. I’m not afraid of fighting election campaigns.

“I am absolutely serious about this idea of getting us out of the EU and it has been the driving reason for me being in politics.

“It has been the highest honour of my life to be elected as the MP for Clacton.

“I have seen thousands of local people come into my surgeries and it has been a wonderful 12 years.

“Clementine and I have loved it – it’s been incredible fun. You never knew what was going to come through the door.

“I have also worked with fantastic people locally, including Peter Wood and Fenella Pearey, and with Ian Davidson, Neil Stock and Giles Watling at the district council.

“The council has got some great people and has done wonderful things, especially with the sea defence works.

“My only regret is that we have not been as successful as I would like in getting more GPs at local surgeries.

“I feel I have done what I have said I will do. Being an MP is a great role and I will miss it.

“It will be quite nice to be out and about without having those two letters behind my name.

“I’m 46 on the day Parliament is dissolved on May 3 and there is a world of opportunity. There are all sorts of things I would love to do.”

He added that he would be backing whoever the Conservative candidate for Clacton is during the election.

“I don’t know who the candidate will be, but I will be backing the Conservatives.

“It’s a choice between Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May for Prime Minister and I think it’s a clear choice."

Mr Carswell announced his intention not to seek re-election on his blog earlier today.

He wrote: "I have never felt more proud and honoured than when representing my Essex constituents in the House of Commons.

"Over the past twelve years I have had great fun working with, and getting to know, many wonderful local people. Together, we ran all sorts of local campaigns, from safeguarding local services to getting a new seafront. Local has always come first.

"As I promised in my maiden speech, I have done everything possible to ensure we got, and won, a referendum to leave the European Union - even changing parties and triggering a by election to help nudge things along.

"Last summer, we won that referendum. Britain is going to become a sovereign country again.

"I have decided that I will not now be seeking re-election. I intend to vote Conservative ‪on June 8 and will be offering my full support to whoever the Clacton Constituency Conservatives select as their candidate.

"It is sometimes said that all political careers end in failure. It doesn't feel like that to me today. I have stood for Parliament five times, won four times, and helped win the referendum last June. Job done. I'm delighted.

"Having been an MP for about half my adult life, I believe that it is time for me to move on to other things. I look forward to being able to read newspapers without appearing in them.

"It has been the highest honour to have represented Clacton in the House of Commons."

Anthony Finnegan-Butler, chairman of Ukip's Clacton branch, said local party members would not be sorry to see Mr Carswell go.

He said: "Without the support of Ukip, Douglas wouldn't have won this election.

"He was our MP and we were duty-bound to support him, but he didn't even have the party logo on his office and didn't really get to know local Ukip councillors."

Ukip donor Arron Banks was due to stand at the election against Mr Carswell following a public spat when the MP left the party last month.

He tweeted: "The Clacton swamp has been drained without a shot fired! Now for the Clacton plan."

Conservative councillor Giles Watling, who stood against Mr Carswell at the Clacton by-election in 2014 and at the General Election in 2015, was hoping to take on Mr Carswell again on June 8.

“It’s not entirely unexpected that he won't stand, after all nobody likes to lose," he said.

“I think he could see the writing on the wall and has decided to bail out gracefully.”


Share in social networks:

Comments - 17
roger bacon

April 20, 2017 2:35 PM

Douglas Carswell killed his political career when he defected to the UKIP party If he had stayed with the Conservatives he would have been the MP for Clacton until he retired as he was very popular with the local party Now as Enoch Powell said "all political careers eventually end in failure"


April 20, 2017 2:33 PM

Interesting. A lot of this explains the deafening silence on the Clacton UKIP site. I don't know if they post anything anywhere else. You would have thought they would keep the public informed on the latest but it always looks like nothing is going on. Keep us all posted if you can. Sounds like they were a load of Tory closet monsters.


April 20, 2017 2:33 PM

Glad to see the back of him , the town is mess with anti social behaviour. He promised to tidy it up but in fact it has got worse , drunks everywhere


April 20, 2017 2:33 PM

There's a great post going round on Twitter, entitled "Douglas Carswell - A story in four parts." It includes screenshots of four newspaper headlines: 1. "Tory MP Carswell defects to UKIP and forces by-election" 2. "I'm 100% UKIP says Carswell, after ex-Gazette journalist claims in Brexit book that the MP infiltrated party to neutralise 'toxic' Farage" 3. "Douglas Carswell quits UKIP to stand as an independent" 4. "Douglas Carswell quits as an MP and says he will vote Tory in General Election". Don't you just love the guy's consistency and loyalty? (Not really. Good riddance. )

Colonel Kurtz

April 20, 2017 2:32 PM

He wont get a job as a deck chair warden after being disobedient to God Emperor his holiness Saint Nigel


April 20, 2017 2:31 PM

is he worth talking about, I have forgotten about him already, nothing people are easily forgotten.


April 20, 2017 2:31 PM

Brilliant news indeed. Go Arron Banks for Clacton, Clacton requires a REBIRTH.


April 20, 2017 2:31 PM

Gazette how can it be a clear choice between Theresa and Jeremy, both could get voted out. The outcome of the votes for different people are not guaranteed, although BREXIT is. We have UKIP to thank for that, and all the hard work that everyone put in to get and promote and support UKIP for over a decade.


April 20, 2017 2:31 PM

Was never UKIP


April 20, 2017 2:31 PM

So, not interested in the Minor Injuries Unit after all.


April 20, 2017 2:30 PM

He's helped destroy the country and now he russ...

sam vines

April 20, 2017 2:30 PM

Hardly a shocker who would fund his election campaign if all he does is jump ship.


April 20, 2017 2:29 PM

glad he is gone, what a weak weak man

daveb TNK26

April 20, 2017 2:28 PM

That would be more like a miscarriage.

mailliW senoH

April 20, 2017 2:28 PM


barry79 TNK26

April 20, 2017 2:27 PM

No we don't have enough UKIP to thank,they helped but it was the voters in the main. UKIP as a countries government would be terrible. What is there education policy,what about the NHS or welfare or tax or policing? They have no sensible policies,if they have even any at all. We have brexit,sense is to vote in Tory,get brexit done and dusted,then make our voices heard on other issues. The plus of a landslide Tory win is a shock to labour to get real and tougher and listen. It will give UKIP time to formulate real policies and in the few places they may win seats,to effect some changes they can tout for the next GE But any other vote will reverse Brexit,and,if you want that,be aware it will be under a weak leader,or one with no policies,or in lib Dems case,a weak one too,but one that believes his way is the way screw any who disagree.


April 20, 2017 2:27 PM

He seems to be an incredibly cynical person. UKIP need to appeal to the working class voters that the Labour party and the left now sneer at. Carswell is a middle class Tory that will never understand that and never wanted to.