Douglas Carswell has sparked fresh fury within Ukip
The Clacton MP recently quit Ukip claiming it was “job done” now the UK had chosen to quit the EU.
The one-time Tory defector has now advised Ukip as a whole to follow his example in the wake of the Prime Minister’s triggering of Article 50 to formally notify Brussels of the UK’s departure.
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Asked what should happen to his old party now that the Brexit process had officially begun, Mr Carswell told an Institute for Government event: “Job done. It’s one of those really weird things … anyone who stuck a microphone under my chin for the last ten years will have heard me say we’ve got to leave the EU.
“Theresa May then triggers Article 50 and I say ‘job done’ and everyone says ‘what did you mean by that?’.
“I think we’ve done our job, and I think we should award ourselves a medal, or a knighthood, and take pride that we’ve won.
“But generally speaking, if you’ve won a battle or a war you disband and you go home and you reach out to the people that you beat and you try and win the peace.
“That’s what we need to do.”
If you’ve won a battle or a war you disband and you go home
Mr Carswell’s time in Ukip was marked by a long-running feud with ex-leader Nigel Farage and his latest comments caused further fury within the party.
After defecting from the Conservatives to Ukip in 2014, Mr Carswell called a by-election in his Clacton seat in order to win a mandate as a Ukip politician from local voters.
He was re-elected in the constituency as a Ukip candidate at the 2015 general election but has insisted he does not need to call another by-election now he has quit the party as he will sit as an independent in the House of Commons.
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Although Mr Carswell has not ruled out re-joining the Conservatives in time to stand as a Tory candidate at the 2020 general election.
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Responding to his comments on Ukip’s future, West Midlands MEP Bill Etheridge told Mr Carswell to “move on from his weird obsession with Ukip”.
He told Express.co.uk: "He's left the party – if he ever was really anything more than a Tory mole, which I doubt – so how about he concentrate on doing the decent thing and calling a by-election in Clacton where he was twice elected for Ukip?
“Ukip aren't going anywhere and we are needed not only during these Brexit negotiations to hold the Government's feet to the fire but for policies for an independent Britain.
"We aren't going to get this far and watch them deliver a faux Brexit.
"Policies like billions of pounds wasted in foreign aid, the environmental and financial disaster of HS2, the running into the ground of our Armed Forces, the landfill tax and the nonsense like raising taxes for the self-employed are all policies Ukip are the only opposition to."
A Ukip spokesman also dismissed Mr Carswell’s trust in Mrs May to deliver a successful Brexit.
He said: “Though he might trust this Government to deliver, the signs are it will fail to deliver the clean Brexit that the country demands.
“It is a foolish general who disbands before the end of the process. There again, if he feels that way, why hasn't he resigned his seat?”