HARWICH MP Bernard Jenkin claims a former fellow Conservative’s decision to defect to UKIP was a “strange error”.

Douglas Carswell’s resignation has triggered a crunch by-election in Clacton, for which he will stand for the UK Independence Party.

Mr Jenkin said Mr Carswell’s move to UKIP was counter-productive as voters turning from the Tories to UKIP could results in Labour winning the next General Election.

“I think Douglas has made a strange error, which will damage not just the Conservative Party, but the country.

“It will undermine the things he says he believes in.

“If Ed Miliband wins the election there will be no referendum on Europe.”