Nigel Farage celebrates Douglas Carswell's departure: Thank God he’s gone!
And some Tory MPs aren’t too keen on having him back either...
Nigel Farage has insisted that Ukip activists should be celebrating Douglas Carswell’s departure – as a Conservative MP urged him not to return to the party.
The Tory-turned Ukip MP for Clacton sensationally quit the Ukip ranks on Saturday, reducing its representation in the Commons to zero.
Former leader Farage claimed that losing Carswell was a good thing for Ukip because he had been undermining its work.
When Carswell's resignation was raised on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme, Farage immediately responded: "Thank God!"
Asked if he was "gutted" by Carswell’s decision, Farage replied: "No! He’s been working against us for a very long time. Sadly, too many in UKIP were prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. I wanted to kick him out back in 2015."
Farage and current leader Paul Nuttall have both challenged their former colleague to call a by-election and let voters judge his actions.
Carswell has said he said he will not trigger a by-election because he has not switched parties.
Over the weekend, he also did not rule out standing as a Conservative candidate at the next general election.
When asked by the Sunday Politics programme if he intended to stand as an independent, he said: "Let's wait and see."
And he told ITV's Peston On Sunday he was not "planning" on fighting the next election as a Conservative - though refused to rule it out categorically.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen recently said he had urged Carswell to quit Ukip, adding: "It is time for him to admit he made a mistake and come home to the Conservative Party."
But the prospect of Carswell returning to the Tories did not go down well with former Tory former education secretary Nicky Morgan, as she made clear on Twitter by saying 'no thanks' - and seeking to rule it out for him.