UK Independence Party wins 2nd parliament seat

2014-11-21 10:52

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London - The UK Independence Party won a second seat in the British parliament after a by-election in southern England, media reports said Friday, continuing a run of success for the eurosceptic party.

UKIP candidate Mark Reckless had defected from the governing Conservative Party in September, and won re-election in the constituency of Rochester and Strood after the poll on Thursday.

Reckless received 16 867 votes to the Conservative candidate Kelly Tolhurst's 13 947, with opposition Labour Party's Naushabah Khan coming third, the BBC and The Guardian newspaper reported.

Prime Minister David Cameron had already lost one previously safe Conservative seat to UKIP after a defection.

There are fears a victory for Reckless would encourage the desertion of other Tories who want Britain out of the bloc.

Cameron, responding to disquiet in his own party and the electoral challenge from UKIP, has promised changes to rules that allow free movement within the EU ahead of a proposed referendum in Britain on its EU membership in 2017.

"We can't cope with that level of immigration culturally," Cameron said when promising to renegotiate the EU deal. "Our NHS [National Health Service] can't cope, and we can't build enough houses to house them all."

Labour, which some analysts said has more to fear from UKIP than the Tories, has hardened its stance on migration. Last week, it proposed a two-year wait before EU migrants could claim some benefits.

Read more on:    david cameron

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