'I'm going to rip his throat out': UKIP in chaos as original Clacton candidate attacks rebel MP Douglas Carswell for jumping ship

  • Original candidate Roger Lord vows to fight former Tory MP
  • He raised the possibility of joining the Tories to challenge Mr Carswell
  • Development risks undermining yesterday's defection from the Tories
  • Mr Lord said: 'We don’t bend, we don’t break. We go out and fight'
  • UKIP insist Mr Carswell is the candidate to fight expected October 9 election
  • By-election sparks private calls for Boris Johnson to contest the seat
  • But the London Mayor has already put his name forward for Uxbridge seat 

By Tom Mctague, Mailonline Deputy Political Editor

The man originally chosen as UKIP’s candidate in Clacton today attacked rebel MP Douglas Carswell for 'riding roughshod' over him - and threatened to 'rip his throat out'.

Roger Lord said he will fight Mr Carswell to be the UKIP candidate in the forthcoming by-election, which is expected to be held on October 9. The by-election was sparked by Mr Carswell's decision to defect from the Tories and quit Parliament yesterday.

Mr Lord said he had been chosen as UKIP's candidate just three weeks ago and would not go quietly. He said: ‘I've been fighting UKIP’s cause since 1997. I’ve worked hard for that – now I’m standing up for everybody who’s going to be ridden roughshod by the establishment.

‘Now we’re going to take on the establishment. If we don’t get the answers down here in Clacton we’re going to rip his throat out. Simple as that.’ 

Scroll down for video 

Douglas Carswell during yesterday's press conference in central London

Rebel Tory MP Douglas Carswell (left) yesterday announced he was joining UKIP and would stand for the party in the forthcoming by-election. But Roger Lord (right) said he had already been picked as UKIP's candidate

Conservative strategists hope London Mayor Boris Johnson can stem the tide of support drifting from the Tories to UKIP

Conservative strategists hope London Mayor Boris Johnson can stem the tide of support drifting from the Tories to UKIP

Mr Lord, a 57-year-old farmer, suggested that if he lost his battle to stand for UKIP he would join the Tories instead. 

He said UKIP's decision to support Mr Carswell as their candidate in the by-election had left a vacancy.

He told Sky News: ‘Douglas Carswell has created a vacancy for a parliamentary candidate. He has apparently made me unemployed as a parliamentary candidate, so if offers come in from elsewhere and there’s a deal to be done, maybe I’ll do a deal.’

As to whether he would stand for the Tory party – as he was once on their candidates’ list before joining UKIP in 1997, he said ‘it’s a possible’.

Mr Lord said Mr Carswell had only ‘jumped ship’ to UKIP because he knew he was going to lose at the next election. He accused him of simply ‘looking after himself’.

But Mr Carswell today defended his decision to join UKIP and rejected accusations that he had been disloyal to the Prime Minister. He said: 'I stab people in the front, not the back'.

Mr Carswell returned to his Clacton constituency this morning with UKIP leader Nigel Farage amid speculation eight more Conservative MPs considered defecting. 

He said: ‘I like David Cameron, he's a nice guy, he's actually good fun.

‘I don't think I've ever stabbed anybody in the back, maybe I occasionally stab one or two people in the front but I've been frank and straight with people.

Conservative sources in Westminster said London Mayor Boris Johnson could help defeat Mr Carswell by campaigning in the Essex seat. One source even suggested he could fight the by-election himself.

One Tory told Sky News: 'If Boris had real balls, he'd fight Douglas Carswell in the Clacton by-election.' 

Mr Carswell is facing a fight to be nominated as UKIP's candidate after the activist originally chosen to fight the next election for the party said he would not give up

Mr Carswell is facing a fight to be nominated as UKIP's candidate after the activist originally chosen to fight the next election for the party said he would not give up

Mr Carswell announced yesterday that he would be standing down as Tory MP for Clacton to fight the by-election as UKIP’s candidate. 

The decision was described by UKIP leader Nigel Farage as the most honourable decision in his life time.

But Mr Carswell’s announcement was thrown into doubt by Mr Lord resistance.

It came amid claims up to eight more Conservative MPs have held intensive talks with UKIP about defecting.

After the shock defection of Mr Carswell yesterday a source told the Daily Mail that the threat of a mutiny went far beyond just one MP.

It is understood that Mr Carswell was among nine Tories wined and dined by millionaire UKIP donor Stuart Wheeler at a series of discreet lunches in Mayfair.

‘Stuart is quietly confident that more may follow Douglas,’ a source said, adding that the MPs were happy to talk to Mr Wheeler – a former Tory who defected to UKIP – ‘because they knew he understood their sense of divided loyalty’.

‘Stuart understood what they were going through because he had been on the same journey,’ the source said.

Mr Cameron was ambushed by the defection of Mr Carswell – a serial rebel – who quit the party with a parting blast that questioned the Prime Minister’s policy on Europe.

The MP announced he was joining UKIP and forcing a by-election in his Clacton constituency in Essex, which will be a nightmare for the Tories to defend despite their 12,000 majority in 2010.

Mr Cameron was given no prior warning of the announcement and could only watch as Mr Farage triumphantly paraded Mr Carswell live on TV.

The dramatic move has increased pressure on the Prime Minister to toughen his stance on immigration and Europe to stem the risk of further defections.

Tory whips were scrambled to ring round Eurosceptic MPs to shore up support. A senior Tory source insisted that Mr Carswell appeared to be a ‘lone wolf’ and played down the prospect of further departures.

Mr Carswell told reporters in London that he needed the permission of his 'boss' - the voters - before he could return to Parliament as a member of UKIP

Mr Carswell told reporters in London that he needed the permission of his 'boss' - the voters - before he could return to Parliament as a member of UKIP

UKIP is targeting a host of seats in the south and east of England in a bid to break into Parliament at the next election 

UKIP is targeting a host of seats in the south and east of England in a bid to break into Parliament at the next election 

UKIP TARGET SEATS IN 2015

South Thanet - Conservative

Clacton - Conservative 

Boston & Skegness - Conservative

North Thanet - Conservative

Sittingborne and Sheppey- Conservative

Forest of Dean - Conservative

Aylesbury - Conservative

Great Yarmouth - Conservative

East Worthing - Conservative

Thurrock - Conservative

Grimsby - Labour

Eastleigh - Lib Dem

Portsmouth South - Lib Dem 

And Mr Cameron angrily dismissed Mr Carswell’s move as ‘self-defeating’. ‘It is obviously deeply regrettable when these things happen and people behave in this way,’ he said. ‘But it is also, in my view, counter-productive.’

Mr Farage claimed he had been involved in talks with a number of Tory MPs over the past six months who ‘very strongly support everything Ukip is trying to do’.

He predicted that further defections will follow if Mr Carswell triumphs in the by-election, which is likely to be held in the week after the Tory party conference.

‘The real answer to the question about how many others will join, will all depend on this by-election,’ he said. ‘This by-election is going to be a High Noon moment.’

Mr Carswell’s announcement came hours after official figures showed Mr Cameron has almost no chance of keeping his pledge to cut net immigration to below 100,000 a year – last year it rose nearly 40 per cent to 243,000, largely on the back of new arrivals from the EU.

Mr Carswell, an early supporter of Mr Cameron’s leadership bid, said the Prime Minister was ‘not serious about change’ when it came to the EU and was only interested in doing the minimum needed to win an election.

Speaking at a press conference in London alongside Mr Farage, he said: ‘The problem is that many of those at the top of the Conservative Party are simply not on our side. They aren’t serious about the change that Britain so desperately needs. Of course they talk the talk before elections.

They say what they feel they must say to get our support... but on so many issues – on modernising our politics, on the recall of MPs, on controlling our borders, on less government, on bank reform, on cutting public debt, on an EU referendum – they never actually make it happen.’

Mr Carswell’s decision to trigger a by-election leaves the Conservatives facing a huge battle to prevent him becoming Ukip’s first elected MP. He has built a Tory majority of over 12,000 in what had been a Labour seat.

Tory sources last night said the by-election would be held ‘sooner rather than later’ to prevent Ukip gaining momentum. Bookmakers immediately installed Mr Carswell as the odds-on favourite to hold the seat.

 

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