Clacton by-election date announced for anti-gay marriage Tory defector

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The date of the Clacton by-election for UKIP candidate Douglas Carswell has been announced.

It will take place on 9 October, the Conservative Party said.

Mr Carswell, MP for the Essex seat of Clacton, defected from the Tories to UKIP last week.

If he wins the election, he will become UKIP’s first elected MP in Westminster.

Mr Carswell cited David Cameron’s position on Europe as his chief reasons, along with a desire to “shake-up” Westminster.

The MP voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act at its second and third readings last year, and in 2007 voted against protections for sexual orientation in the provision of goods and services, under the Equality Act.

In 2012, Mr Carswell said: “Although I believe in equal treatment for gay people and believe that all people should be able to live under the same laws, I am opposed to the government’s proposals.

“I think there is something a little bit arrogant about ministers supposing that it is for them to redefine communal rules that have existed for centuries.”

Mr Carswell also voted against secondary legislation linked to same-sex marriage.