Published: 19:00, 12 March 2015
| Updated: 19:04, 12 March 2015
A court has thrown out an attempt by Medway Conservatives to reclaim thousands of pounds the party spent promoting its former MP Mark Reckless.
The party had lodged a claim with the County court in an attempt to recover money it had spent on promotional literature just days before Mr Reckless defected to UKIP last September.
The court today struck out the claim for more than £3,000, ending the case. The party has been told it must meet Mr Reckless' costs, believed to be in the region of £1,800.
Mr Reckless said he welcomed the news, saying the action was sour grapes.
"It is not a case that we have lost, the judge said it could not go forward on a technicality. It is frustrating" - Andrew Mackness of the Rochester and Strood Conservative Association
"I am pleased with this news. I have not allowed the claim to distract me...the case should never have been brought in the first place."
A claim form lodged at the small claims court at the County Court in Chatham in December also named Mr Reckless’s agent and Medway councillor Chris Irvine, who also left the party.
Details of the claim, leaked to the KM Group, said: “His [Mark Reckless] defection to UKIP resulted in unusable 2015 general election campaign literature the Rochester and Strood Constituency Conservative Association had no choice but to later discard.
"This consequently incurred an unnecessary expense. Mr Christopher Irvine was Mr Reckless’s agent at the time.”
Andrew Mackness of the Rochester and Strood Conservative Association, said the case had not been allowed to proceed on a technicality.
"It is not a case that we have lost, the judge said it could not go forward on a technicality. It is frustrating."