Ukip recruit Mark Reckless has moved his wife and children to an undisclosed location amid the political furore over his defection from the Conservative Party. Mr Reckless has faced an onslaught of criticism from his former party colleagues since announcing his switch on the eve of the final Tory party conference before the 2015 general election.
Some have accused him of openly lying about his plans to defect, which has triggered a by-election in the Rochester and Strood constituency in Kent. During campaigning among locals, he told BBC South East Today: "My wife and two children are taking a bit of a break at an undisclosed location, put it that way.
"There is a bit of media interest and also I'm just very, very busy. Probably the most difficult thing for me over the past week or so is not being able to put my children to bed at night and having a bit of separation perhaps at the height of the media and the beginning of the campaign."
Joining him on the campaign trail today was Ukip leader Nigel Farage, who said Mr Reckless' experience had exposed the Conservative Party as the "truly nasty party". He said: "Mark Reckless was subjected to really nasty, unpleasant abuse, not just at a national but local level, too.
"This guy hasn't just crossed the floor and joined Ukip, he has resigned and forced a by-election. I would have thought that was actually beyond criticism because if people don't agree with it, they can vote against it."