POLITICS

Tories Demand Ukip Defector Mark Reckless Pays Back £3,000

17/12/2014 20:50 GMT | Updated 17/12/2014 21:59 GMT
LEON NEAL via Getty Images
UK Independence Party (UKIP) newly elected MP for Rochester and Strood, Mark Reckless, arrives to address the Bruge Group conference in central London on November 22, 2014. UKIP celebrated winning its second parliament seat in a blow for the government that further fragments the political landscape ahead of next year's general election. Reckless was re-elected in Rochester and Strood in southeast England, after defecting from Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party to UKIP, which wants Britain to leave the European Union and put strict quotas on immigration. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

The Tory Party has launched a revenge attack on Ukip defector Mark Reckless – by suing their former member for £3,000 spent on now redundant 2015 general election leaflets.

The Rochester and Strood Constituency Conservative Association, which lost the parliamentary seat to Ukip after Reckless jumped ship, has demanded that the MP pay back £3,012 plus £185 in court costs, otherwise they will launch legal proceedings.

According to the local outfit, the bill is for an outlay on General Election campaigning literature, which was spent before Reckless abandoned them in favour of Nigel Farage’s eurosceptic party.

The Conservative Association claims that Reckless and his agent, Chris Irvine, who also joined Ukip, were approving expenditure on the Tory campaign up to two days before their high-profile defection in late September.

The Medway Messenger reported on the claim, which read: "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.

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

Andrew Mackness, chairman of the Rochester and Strood constituency, told the newspaper: "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."

On Wednesday, Reckless dismissed the claim as "sour grapes. He said: "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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