Mark Reckless said:
“The people, not party whips, are my boss. They have the final say, which is why I resigned to allow this vote on my decision to stand for re-election under UKIP colours. I did so to be faithful to the promises I made to them, promises I simply could not keep as a Conservative – and which I can only honour to my constituents in UKIP.”
He detailed the ten key promises he could not keep under the Conservative banner which he can honour in UKIP:
- Defend the NHS: Alone of the main parties, UKIP opposes the inclusion of the NHS in the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which exposes the NHS to more, unwanted corporate involvement, and instead promotes a single elected health board to run the NHS in Kent and Medway.
- Control Immigration: UKIP is the only party with a credible, coherent, and balanced approach to migration, our points-based system centred on merits. Neither Labour, nor the Lib Dems, nor the Conservatives support EU exit – the essential precondition for managed migration.
- Responsible Public Finances: Under George Osborne, the UK’s deficit is not being cut – it is growing again. EU exit and reducing overseas aid favoured by UKIP provide the extra resources as we cut wasteful spending rather than essential services.
- Leave the EU: The Conservative leadership have stated openly that they will not campaign for Britain’s exit from the EU, irrespective of the charade of a doomed renegotiation. Only UKIP stand for Britain’s independence from Europe.
- Local Planning by Locals: UKIP’s local democracy platform alone will return decision-making over unwanted local developments to local residents themselves – and I stand firmly with my local constituents in opposition to the mistaken Lodge Hill development plan.
- No EU Bailouts: Britain has burned countless billions bailing out the catastrophic European project – and David Cameron and George Osborne have just agreed to send yet another cheque, which UKIP alone credibly stands against.
- Responsible Foreign Policy: I refused to vote for the Libyan intervention, which has made the country too dangerous to report from and fuelled dangerous emigration across the Mediterranean, and voted against the recent Iraq intervention as well. We should first rebuild and strengthen our armed forces.
- Support Schools: Medway primary schools are seriously under-performing despite many dedicated teachers. UKIP’s policy of emphasising vocational education to complement selection to grammar schools, which the Conservatives have failed to support, is the way to raise standards in education.’
- Defend the Countryside: We cannot defend the countryside without returning power to local residents – and only UKIP has a radical agenda of local decision-making by local residents.
- Promote Rochester Nationally: Conservatives have failed in their attempt to gain city status for ‘Medway’. With UKIP I can campaign for the restoration of Rochester’s traditional city status, something on which we have been let down by Conservative and Labour.