Ukip MP Mark Reckless being sued by Tories over wasted campaign expenses

Ukip Bus 3

Ukip MP Mark Reckless is being sued by his former Conservative colleagues over almost £3,000 spent on wasted campaign material ordered with his name on just before he defected.

The local Tory party has filed papers at Medway county court just weeks after Reckless successfully re-fought his Rochester & Strood seat to become Ukip’s second MP.

The MP defected to Ukip on the eve of the Conservative party’s autumn conference, triggering an election in his north Kent constituency.

He comfortably held the seat as a Ukip candidate and is hoping to do so again at the May 2015 general election.

However, his former Tory colleagues are furious that Reckless and his election agent, Chris Irvine, who has also defected to Ukip, were approving spending on his campaign in the weeks before he left the party.

Andrew Mackness, the chairman of the Rochester and Strood Conservatives, told the Guardian that the officers of the association had no alternative but to seek the money back from him.

“His agent was signing off printing, which led to expenditure and resource being used up until two days before he defected.

“Our point is that for somebody who made the decision on such a matter of principle, he could have stalled the approvals or avoided spending on things so as not to knowingly let the association and all its voluntary members to suffer the cost. This was all raised from volunteers, people who have supported him for over 15 years.”

He said that Reckless and Irvine will face court action unless they settle the small claim.

Reckless told his local newspaper, the Medway Messenger, which first reported the story: “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.”

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Rowena Mason, political correspondent, for The Guardian on Thursday 18th December 2014 11.13 Europe/London

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