Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. The Staggers
20 April 2017updated 01 Aug 2021 7:38am

Ukip’s first elected MP Douglas Carswell won’t run again – and will vote Tory

“Job done. I’m delighted.”

By Anoosh Chakelian

Douglas Carswell, one of the New Statesman‘s favourite honourable members, will stand down at the next election. Now an independent after leaving Ukip in March, Carswell was Ukip’s first elected MP – after defecting from the Tories in 2014, triggering a by-election in his Clacton seat. He says he will now vote Conservative on 8 June.

His reason?

“I have done everything possible to ensure we got, and won, a referendum to leave the European Union – even changing parties and triggering a by election to help nudge things along. Last summer, we won that referendum. Britain is going to become a sovereign country again . . . 

“It is sometimes said that all political careers end in failure. It doesn’t feel like that to me today. I have stood for Parliament five times, won four times, and helped win the referendum last June. Job done. I’m delighted.”

The real reason?

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Carswell would most likely lose his seat to the Tories this time round. He knows his success in the constituency so far has resulted more from whichever party he’s deigned to belong to than his own popularity. There is even speculation that he tried and failed to rejoin his old party to run again as a Tory. And he is tangled up in a messy internal Ukip feud with the party’s former donor Arron Banks – who pledged to run against the MP who he labelled “a poor return for four million votes” in Clacton.

Content from our partners
The truth about employability
Why we need a Minister for Citizen Experience
Powering careers that secure our net zero future

As for the dream of Brexit Britain? Perhaps he’d rather be in a job where he can dodge the blame when it turns out not to be a utopia.