UKIP’s only MP just quit the party

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

UKIP’s only MP, Douglas Carswell, has announced that he is quitting the party.

Carswell confirmed that he will “amicably” be becoming an independent MP after defecting from the Conservatives to join UKIP in 2014.

The MP, who has served in the Commons since 2005, said that he decided to leave the party because the UK had voted to leave the EU.

Writing on his website, Carswell said: “I will leave UKIP amicably, cheerfully and in the knowledge that we won.”

“I will not be switching parties, nor crossing the floor to the Conservatives, so do not need to call a by election, as I did when switching from the Conservatives to UKIP.

“I will simply be the Member of Parliament for Clacton, sitting as an independent.”

Carswell added that he would now be drawing his attention away from the EU and focussing on more local issues such as the NHS.

“I will be putting all of my effort into tackling some of the local problems affecting the NHS in our part of Essex… Local comes first,” he said.

His decision to stand as an independent MP comes after the former leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage, accused Carswell of “actively working against UKIP”.

Carswell, who took an anti same-sex marriage stance when he voted against the Marriage Equality Act, stood against Farage after the former leader made unsavoury comments about HIV diagnoses.

Farage said that “60 per cent of HIV diagnoses were not British nationals” and that the “health service should not be an international health service”.

Carswell, who’s father was one of the first doctors to identify HIV in Uganda, would not Back Farage’s comment. Instead he deflected and accused reporters of “trying to get me to say something I haven’t said.”

Carswell previously said Mr Farage’s suggestion to ban migrants with HIV was not “serious”.