UKIP Welsh Assembly Member Mark Reckless is reportedly set to quit the party.
Reckless defected to UKIP from the Conservatives in 2014, winning the Rochester & Strood by-election shortly afterwards, but lost the seat in the 2015 General Election. Last year, Reckless became one of seven UKIP AMs elected to the Senedd and currently chairs the committee on climate change, environment and rural affairs.
Conservative Party sources say that he will leave UKIP and sit as an Independent, but will sit and vote with the Tory group. Other sources claim that a possible defection back to the Tories has been blocked.
Nigel Farage has speculated that Reckless’s friendship with Douglas Carswell, who last month left UKIP to sit as an Independent MP for Clacton-on-Sea, saying: “He is clearly close to Douglas Carswell. I guess some kind of pressure’s been put on him.” Farage also said that he “always liked Mark Reckless, but if he thinks he can just leave after being elected on a list system that is very dishonourable behaviour”.