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20 April 2017, 12:33
Clacton MP Douglas Carswell has announced that he will not be seeking re-election on June 8 but will be backing the Conservative candidate.
He defected from the Tories to UKIP before announcing he was standing as an Independent.
Mr Carswell issued a statement today, saying "I have never felt more proud and honoured than when representing my Essex constituents in the House of Commons.
"Over the past twelve years I have had great fun working with, and getting to know, many wonderful local people. Together, we ran all sorts of local campaigns, from safeguarding local services to getting a new seafront. Local has always come first.
"As I promised in my maiden speech, 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.
"I have decided that I will not now be seeking re-election. I intend to vote Conservative ?on June 8th and will be offering my full support to whoever the Clacton Constituency Conservatives select as their candidate.
"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.
"Having been an MP for about half my adult life, I believe that it is time for me to move on to other things. I look forward to being able to read newspapers without appearing in them.
"It has been the highest honour to have represented Clacton in the House of Commons."