A UKIP councillor has welcomed MP Douglas Carswell’s departure, after announcing he is to sit in the House of Commons as an independent.
Mr Carswell said he was leaving “amicably” and that there would be no need to call a by-election in his Clacton constituency as he will not be rejoining the Tories or switching allegiance to another party.
It comes after a public spat with Ukip’s biggest financial backer Arron Banks, a close ally of former leader Nigel Farage, who suggested this month that he could trigger a by-election in Clacton using a recall petition and stand against Mr Carswell.
Announcing his resignation on his blog, Mr Carswell said Ukip had now achieved its goal of getting Britain out of the European Union, with Theresa May poised to trigger Article 50 to formally begin Brexit on Wednesday.
He said: “To be honest none of us thought he was a real party member. He didn’t stand for what Ukip stood for. We are all really pleased that he has left.
“We will get MPs into parliament. We will build up and take more district council seats, then we will take county council seats, and we will get MPs into parliament.
“We were expecting that he would go.
“He had to leave otherwise he was going to be pushed out.”