STONE’S Conservative MP has said he will not follow a fellow Eurosceptic in defecting to UKIP.
Sir Bill Cash’s comments came in the wake of Clacton MP Douglas Carswell’s shock announcement yesterday that he was leaving the Tories to become a UKIP member.
Mr Carswell’s reasons for defecting included his fears that Prime Minister David Cameron was not serious about “real change” in the UK’S relationship with the EU.
He said: “No one cheered David Cameron more loudly when he finally accepted the case for a referendum. He would, he claimed, negotiate a fundamentally new relationship with the EU, and put it to the people in 2017; in or out.
“But there's been no detail since. His advisers have made it clear they won't contemplate any deal with UKIP. They're more comfortable doing deals with Nick Clegg than with a party that wants real change in our relations with the EU.
“His advisers have made it clear that they seek a new deal that gives them just enough to persuade enough voters to vote to stay in. It's not about change in our national interest. It's all about not changing things.”
But Sir Bill, also known for his Eurosceptic views and leading the rebellion against the Maastrict Treaty in 1992, said that he would not be following suit as defection would destroy his party’s work to secure a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.
“The best way to guarantee we don’t have a referendum is to have a Labour/Lib Dem coalition and those who vote for UKIP mean the Conservative Party would be destroyed by defectors to UKIP who prevented us winning marginal seats”, he added.
“I’m always voting on the same issues as Douglas Carswell but I believe it is the Conservative Party which is capable of delivering the things we want.”