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Ukip MP Mark Reckless and Cllr Chris Irvine face court action if they don't pay the Rochester and Strood Conservatives.

By Lynn Cox

The Rochester and Strood Constituency Conservative Association have lodged a claim against its former MP Mark Reckless to claw back thousands of pounds it spent on 2015 General Election campaigning literature before he defected to Ukip.

Members of the association say Mr Reckless and his agent, Cllr Chris Irvine, who are both now Ukip members, were approving expenditure for campaign literature for next year's general election, up to two days before Mr Reckless defected to Ukip Saturday, September 27.

They say they had no alternative but to throw away the campaign leaflets.

MP Mark Reckless, now with Ukip
MP Mark Reckless, now with Ukip

A claim form was lodged at the small claims court at the County Court, at Anchorage House, in Chatham, earlier this week.

It could take up to 10 days to be served on the pair, but Conservative members say unless the bill - which comes to more than £3,000 - is settled, the party will take the matter to a court hearing.

The papers, which have been leaked to KentOnline's sister paper the Medway Messenger, name Mr Reckless and Cllr Irvine as the defendants.

The claim form which has been lodged with the county court
The claim form which has been lodged with the county court

They reveal the association is trying to claim £3,012 back from the pair as well as £185 in court costs.

The particulars of the claim state: "Mr Reckless was a Conservative MP for the Rochester and Strood Constituency until his defection to UKIP on 27 September 2014.

"His 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.

Cllr Chris Irvine is putting a motion to Medway Council
Cllr Chris Irvine is putting a motion to Medway Council

"This consequently incurred an unnecessary expense. Mr Christopher Irvine was Mr Reckless’ Agent at the time."

Cllr Andrew Mackness, chairman of the Rochester and Strood Conservative Association, said: “Mark Reckless and Chris Irvine his agent were approving expenditure up to two days before defection which in the least was deceitful and misleading and lead to costs that the Conservative Association believe should be repaid to them.”

Mr Reckless, hit back by saying: “The people of Rochester and Strood have made their decision at the ballot box and this would appear to be sour grapes from the Conservatives.”

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