UKIP’s pro-gay MP Mark Reckless defeated by Tories

Nick Duffy May 8, 2015
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UK Independence Party politician Mark Reckless – who voted in favour of same-sex marriage while a Conservative MP – has lost his seat to his old party.

Mr Reckless was elected as a Tory MP in Rochester and Strood in 2010, before last year defecting to UKIP and retaining the seat in a by-election.

However, the politician – who unlike UKIP’s other Tory defector Douglas Carswell voted in favour of same-sex marriage in 2013 – could not manage to pull out a third election victory, suffering a defeat to his own former party.

Conservative Kelly Tolhurst, who lost out to Mr Reckless by 2920 votes in November last year, managed to capitalise on strong Tory support and a lack of vigorous campaigning from UKIP.

Mr Reckless received 16,009 votes, compared to 23,142 for Ms Tolhurst.

So far the party has two seats, with Mr Carswell – who previously described same-sex marriage as “arrogant” – retaining his seat in Clacton.

UKIP is the only one of the main UK-wide parties to have pledged an anti-LGBT policy, with the party’s Christian Manifesto – which was not released to the press – calling for a ‘conscience’ law to weaken equality legislation, and accommodate the beliefs of people who oppose gay rights.

Nigel Farage has also been accused of “ducking” gay rights issues by pulling out of a planned Q&A with PinkNews, making him the only UK-wide party leader to not take part.

David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg, Natalie Bennett and Nicola Sturgeon have all answered questions from PinkNews readers – but PinkNews understands that Mr Farage refused to do so.

More: anti-gay marriage, anti-gay views, anti-same-sex marriage, candidate, Conservative Party, election, England, equal marriage, Gay rights, General Election 2015, homophobic views, LGBT rights, Mark Reckless, Nigel Farage, tories, uk independence party, UKIP, UKIP leader Nigel Farage

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