This morning Tory defector Mark Reckless was announced as the winner of the Rochester and Strood byelection.
The UKIP candidate took 16,867 votes, ahead of Conservative candidate Kelly Tolhurst’s 13,947 and Labour’s Naushabah Khan on 6,713.
The Lib Dems lost their deposit for the 11th time this parliament.
Reckless, who had held the seat as a Tory MP, had triggered the election by defecting to UKIP and was re-elected despite campaigning under the dubious “vote for change” slogan.
UKIP hailed the win as a signal public support for the party was increasing across the UK.
Reckless said: “If UKIP can win here, we can win across the country.”
Meanwhile, shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry resigned from the shadow cabinet last night after tweeting this:
Image from #Rochesterpic.twitter.com/rOjTgpskmF
— Emily Thornberry MP (@EmilyThornberry) November 20, 2014
The Labour MP said she hadn’t meant to cause offence by the picture and apologised.
Who is Mark Reckless?
The MP for Rochester and Strood was first elected as a Tory MP in 2010.
After defecting to UKIP in 2014, a by-election was held in his constituency, which he won and became UKIP’s second MP.
Reckless studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University and did an MBA at Colombia Business School in the US.
He worked as a strategy consultant, before taking a position in policy at the Conservative Party in the early 2000s.
Before he became an MP, he worked as a solicitor.
His mother is an Irish immigrant and the daughter of Henry McDevitt, who served in the Irish Parliament.
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