Why did Douglas Carswell quit Ukip and what has he done since leaving Parliament?

Why did Douglas Carswell quit Ukip and what has he done since leaving Parliament?

January 8, 2019

The politician left the party in 2017, but not much is known about him and what he has done since then. We explain it all.

Who is Douglas Carswell?

Carswell was born on May 3, 1971 and was first elected to Parliament in 2005 as a member of the Conservative Party.

He is the son of two physicians and lived in Uganda until his late teens.

Carswell was educated at two boarding schools for boys: St Andrews School in Kenya and Charterhouse School in Surrey.

He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in history from the University of East Anglia and he received a Master’s degree in British imperial history from King’s College London.

In the 2001 General Election, Carswell contested Prime Minister Tony Blair’s constituency of Sedgefield, as the Tory candidate.

Carswell created a swing of 4.7 per cent to the Tories and Blair’s majority fell by 7,500.

He is married to Clementine Bailey and has one child.

When did he join and then quit Ukip?

Carswell joined Ukip in August 2014 changing his political allegiance and announced his resignation as an MP.

He explained he was joining the party to see a “fundamental change in British politics” and because he believed “many of those at the top of the Conservative Party are simply not on our side. They aren’t serious about the change that Britain so desperately needs.”

The politician’s resignation sparked a by-election in which he stood and returned to Parliament as a member of Ukip.

In the 2015 General Election, Carswell won the seat of Clacton with a majority of 3,437 and he won Ukip's only seat that year.

However, in 2016 he admitted he had “jump ship with the express goal of changing the image of Ukip and ensuring it was an asset rather than a liability in the referendum campaign”.

He left the party on March 25, 2017 to sit as an independent MP.

He did not stand in the 2017 General Election.

Was he involved in a Parliamentary expenses scandal?

When Carswell was elected in 2005 he designated his £1million flat in London as his second home and claimed £21,000 for food, rent and furniture.

In 2007, started renting a home in Thorpe-le-Soken and designated that as his second home and paid a deposit and for furniture from his expenses, as reported in The Daily Telegraph.

Between 2007 and 2009 he claimed £32,000 in expenses for the house.

At the time he said: "I believe this is entirely justified."

What has he done since he left Parliament?

Since leaving politics he has founded Disruptive, a data analytics company.

A description on its website reads: “We have run campaigns that change people’s outlook and behaviour.

“From mass public advocacy and reputation management or niche influencing, we have a real understanding of what it takes to shift opinion and influence outcomes.”

Carswell has also remained active on Twitter and is still vocal about his views on Brexit.

On January 4 he tweeted: "If the UK leaves the EU without an agreement to be bound by a ton of EU regulation – and then thrives – the idea that we don’t need a ton of regulation might catch on.

"This explains why so many of the political class are so instinctively anti a WTO term departure."

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