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Rochester and Strood Conservative party chairman Andrew Mackness accuses UKIP defector Mark Reckless of "deceit"

Mark Reckless's former constituency chairman launched a blistering attack on his ex-colleague today as the Tory machine aimed a fresh volley of criticism at the the defected MP.

Andrew Mackness, chairman of the Rochester and Strood constituency, accused Mr Reckless of "deceit" and of being a "one-trick pony" over his anti-Europe views.

Mr Reckless shocked the political world by resigning from the Conservatives and as an MP at the UKIP party conference in Doncaster at the weekend, sparking a by-election in Rochester and Strood.

Mark Reckless with Nigel Farage in the Rochester Castle grounds
Mark Reckless with Nigel Farage in the Rochester Castle grounds

Speaking on the BBC's Jeremy Vine programme, Mr Mackness said: "The man has lied to me, to his constituents and to children. He spoke to my daughter 10 days ago at my home and said he was committed to the Conservative party. He told the executive committee (of his constituency) of his unequivocal support for David Cameron 10 days ago."

He had even indicated his intention of campaigning AGAINST the UKIP defector Douglas Carswell in the forthcoming Clacton by-election next month, said Mr Mackness. Mr Reckless has since described Mr Carswell as a good friend and whose decision to join UKIP had greatly influenced him.

Mark Reckless
Mark Reckless

Replying to criticisms that the Tories themselves had lied over their 2010 manifesto promises, Mr Mackness said: "We are delivering - immigration is down and we are cutting the deficit. We'll have a referendum in 2017."

Also on the BBC Radio Two discussion, was KM Group political editor Paul Francis, who outlined the difficult task awaiting Mr Reckless in the by-election in overturning his own 10,000 majority. He suggested he did not have the strong personal support that Mr Carswell enjoyed in Essex.

Mr Reckless insists his decision to switch allegiances was "in order to keep my promises" and accused the Conservatives of "betrayal".

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