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Nigel Farage welcomes Mark Reckless to Brexit Party

By Paul Francis

A former Kent MP has defected from the Conservative group in Wales to join Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.

Mark Reckless, the former member for Rochester and Strood, has defected for the third time in five years.

Reckless made headlines when he left the Conservative party in 2014 to join Ukip and triggered a high-profile by-election which he won.

They're back together
They're back together

But the MP only held the seat for a matter of months losing the constituency to Conservative Kelly Tolhurst at the general election in 2015.

He then went on to stand for election to the Welsh Assembly and succeeded in winning a seat there under the Ukip flag.

He then decided to align himself with the Conservative party in the Welsh Assembly but did not officially rejoin it.

Now, he has left the Conservative group and along with three Ukip colleagues has defected - to sign up for Nigel Farage Brexit's Party ahead of next week’s EU election.

Paul Francis discusses the new party on KMTV with Andy Richards

The unexpected move was seen as a coup for Farage whose party is, according to the polls, on course to win the EU election.

Mr Reckless tweeted: “I have decided to leave the Conservative Group in the Welsh Assembly as the UK Conservative government has broken its promise to deliver Brexit.”

And in a statement said that he had made a terrible mistake in trusting Theresa May to deliver Brexit.

Mr Farage was unsurprisingly delighted.

Nigel Farage in Rochester with Mark Reckless in the run up to the Rochester and Strood by-election
Nigel Farage in Rochester with Mark Reckless in the run up to the Rochester and Strood by-election

"The leavers in Wales are all coming back together again. I'm very pleased as leader of the Brexit Party to welcome four members of the Welsh Assembly who will now re-designate, as Brexit Party members," he added.

He is the second former Conservative MP from the county to join the party, after Anne Widdecombe made her return to politics last month.

Meanwhile, it seems unlikely that Mr Farage will be visiting Kent ahead of the election next Thursday.

Despite his connections with the county, the former Ukip leader who unsuccessfully stood for election in South Thanet in 2015 is understood to be focusing his efforts elsewhere.

How is Brexit going to affect Kent? For all the latest news, views and analysis visit our dedicated page here.

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

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