|Member of Parliament
for Rochester and Strood
20 November 2014
6 May 2010 – 30 September 2014
|Preceded by||Bob Marshall-Andrews (Medway)|
6 December 1970 |
City of London, London, England
|Political party||UKIP (2014–present)
Conservative (until 2014)
|Alma mater||Christ Church, Oxford
The University of Law
Columbia Business School
After representing his constituents for the Conservative Party in parliament, on 27 September 2014 he announced that he was joining UKIP and would be resigning his seat to seek mandate by way of re-election.
Mark Reckless won re-election as a member of parliament for Rochester and Strood as a member of the United Kingdom Independence Party on 21 November 2014. While a Conservative MP, Reckless was noted for his rebelliousness; he cast 56 votes against the whip between 2010 and 2014, making him the 13th most rebellious Conservative in the period. He led a rebellion of 53 Conservative MPs on the EU budget, which inflicted the first House of Commons defeat on the coalition government, although he served as a member (from November 2010) of the Home Affairs Select Committee.
Reckless was educated at Marlborough College before going up to Christ Church, Oxford, where he read philosophy, politics and economics, graduating with upper second class honours. He then pursued postgraduate studies at Columbia Business School in the United States receiving an MBA. At Columbia, he studied alongside writer Jacob Appel and is the subject of several thinly-veiled anecdotes in Appel's satire, The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up.
Between 2002 and 2004, Reckless was a member of the policy unit at Conservative Central Office where he published a book on deregulation policy as well as overseeing the development of the policy on directly elected police commissioners. The first police and crime commissioner elections took place on 15 November 2012.
Until his election in May 2010, Reckless had been a solicitor at Herbert Smith and had worked on legal matters that had had dealings with private investigators. He was a member of the Kent Police Authority from 2007 to 2011.
Reckless was elected as the member of parliament for Rochester and Strood in 2010 with a 9,953 majority for the Conservative Party, having previously contested the Medway constituency in 2001 and 2005, reducing the majority of the previously serving Labour MP to 3,780 in 2001 and 213 in 2005. He served as a Medway councillor between 2007-2011.
Reckless was elected to the Home Affairs Select Committee in 2010 and has been one of its most visible members often appearing on Newsnight and other political programmes, recently arguing for the deportation of clerics Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada. He is rated as one of parliament's most rebellious MPs. He was one of only six Conservative MPs to vote against the increase of university tuition fees, and has been a vocal critic of the government's energy policy, arguing that the government's Energy Bill introduced in December 2012 was 'a sad retreat for Conservatives'.
In July 2010, Reckless apologised for missing a vote on the budget after having had too much to drink. He said that he 'did not feel it was appropriate to take part in the vote because of the amount he had drunk'.
On 30 September Reckless applied for the Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds and therefore ceased to be an MP. A by-election was called on 20 November 2014 at which Reckless was nominated to stand as the UKIP candidate. He was returned as a member of parliament for UKIP, becoming the party's second elected MP.
European Union budget rebellion
On 31 October 2012, Reckless led a rebellion of 53 Conservative MPs which inflicted the first House of Commons defeat (307 votes to 294) on the coalition government. The Tory rebels voted with Labour MPs to pass an amendment calling for a real-terms cut in the 2014-2020 EU budget multi-annual financial framework. The coalition government supported only a real-terms freeze in the EU budget as a minimum. The amendment was not binding on the government, but damaged prime minister David Cameron's authority on Europe before key EU budget negotiations in November 2012. As a result of leading the successful rebellion, Reckless was voted 'Backbencher of the Year' by the Conservatives and finished third in a ConservativeHome poll of 'Backbencher of the Year', although the site's editor Tim Montgomerie announced that 'if UKIP readers had been included in the poll Mark Reckless would have topped the vote.'
Defection to UKIP
On 27 September 2014, Reckless defected to the UK Independence Party at its party conference in Doncaster, and announced his resignation in order to seek re-election at a by-election. He became the second Conservative MP in the space of a month to defect to UKIP, the first being Douglas Carswell. In a speech delivered to the conference, Reckless claimed that the Conservative leadership was 'not serious about real change on Europe', and that 'Britain could be better'.
- Rochester and Strood 2014
|Rochester and Strood by-election, 20 November 2014|
|Liberal Democrat||Geoff Juby||349||0.87||-15.5|
|Monster Raving Loony||Hairy Knorm Davidson||151||0.38||N/A|
|People Before Profit||Nick Long||69||0.17||N/A|
|Britain First||Jayda Fransen||56||0.14||N/A|
|Patriotic Socialist Party||Dave Osborn||33||0.08||N/A|
|UKIP gain from Conservative||Swing||28.3%|
- Rochester and Strood 2010
The Rochester and Strood seat was fought for the first time at the 2010 general election. Following its boundary review of parliamentary representation in Kent, the Boundary Commission for England renamed the Medway seat to Rochester and Strood. This is because the commission agreed that the term 'Medway' is now primarily used for the larger unitary authority.
|General Election 2010: Rochester and Strood|
|Liberal Democrat||Geoff Juby||7,800||16.3||+3.9|
|English Democrats||Ron Sands||2,182||4.5||N/A|
|Conservative gain from Labour||Swing||+9.8|
- Medway 2005
|General Election 2005: Medway|
|Liberal Democrat||Geoffrey Juby||5,152||12.5||+3.2|
- Medway 2001
|General Election 2001: Medway|
|Liberal Democrat||Geoffrey Juby||3,604||9.3||-0.8|
Reckless is the grandson of Henry McDevitt, a Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal East in Dáil Éireann, the Irish parliament, from 1938 until 1943. His mother emigrated to England when she was 17 to train as a nurse, however Reckless has said that he doesn't see his mother as a 'immigrant' and stated 'I don’t consider myself to have an immigrant background'  On 1 October 2011 he married Catriona Brown at Westminster Cathedral, with a reception held in the Palace of Westminster. His best man was Daniel Hannan MEP. Reckless had been previously been the best man at Hannan's wedding.
- Rochester and Strood MP Mark Reckless weds Catriona Brown at Westminster Cathedral 3 October 2011
- LIST OF MEMBERS RETURNED TO SERVE IN PARLIAMENT AT THE GENERAL ELECTION 2010. The London Gazette, 13 May 2010
- "Mark Reckless defects to UKIP from Tories". BBC News. 27 September 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
- Cowley, Philip; Stuart, Mark. "The Four Year Itch". University of Nottingham. p. 49. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- Cameron Commons Defeat on EU Budget 31 October 2012
- Columbia Spectator, 1 October 2014
- Mark Reckless: Government borrowing is preventing private lending ConservativeHome 28 November 2008.
- Mark Reckless MP Your Local Guardian 26 September 2012.
- The Drivers of Regulation Google Books 2004.
- Mark Reckless MP: Police and Crime Commissioners are one of the great reforms of this Conservative-led government ConservativeHome 27 May 2012.
- Solicitors stand as MP The Law Society Gazette 29 April 2012.
- Home-Affairs-Committee-Formal-Minutes Tuesday 15 May 2012
- Mark Reckless Cllr, Medway Council, 2001
- Members of the Home Affairs Select Committee, November 2010
- Mark Reckless welcomes Abu Hamza Deportation, BBC Newsnight, 5 October 2012.
- Deport Abu Qatada, BBC Newsnight, 18 April 2012.
- Order Order: Why the newest Tories are a major headache for Cameron, The Independent, 30 December 2011.
- The Tories Who Rebelled Over Tuition Fees, Financial Times, 9 December 2010.
- Voting Record Tuition Fees, Public Whip, 9 December 2010.
- The Energy Bill is a sad retreat for Conservatives, ConservativeHome, 19 December 2012
- I was too drunk to vote on Budget, confesses Tories' Mr Reckless (or should that be Legless?), Daily Mail, 11 July 2010.
- Mark Reckless MP sorry for being 'too drunk to vote, BBC News, 11 July 2010.
- Wintour, Patrick (30 October 2011). "Conservative Eurosceptics turn fire on UK negotiator". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- European Court of Human Rights gets out begging bowl, The Telegraph, 21 June 2012
- All Party Parliamentary Group on Georgia, House of Commons Register, December 2012.
- Watt, Nicholas (31 October 2012). "David Cameron suffers Commons defeat on EU budget". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- Mark Reckless Named Pin Up of the Year, Rochester People, 27 December 2012
- Backbencher of the year, ConservativeHome, 27 December 2012
- "Mark Reckless wins Rochester by-election for Ukip with 2,900 majority". Telegraph.co.uk. 21 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- "UKIP's Reckless wins Rochester seat". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- Fifth Periodical Report, Volume I: Report, Cm 7032-i. London: The Stationery Office. 2007. p. 347. ISBN 978-0-10-170322-2. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
- "Rochester & Strood". BBC News. 7 May 2010.
- "UK General Election results May 2005". Political Science Resources. University of Keele. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
- "Medway". Political Science Resources. University of Keele. 3 November 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
- Over A Third Of Irish Want To Leave Euro For Pound | Mark Reckless MP. Markreckless.com. Retrieved on 6 February 2012.
- Ukip’s Mark Reckless on the party’s ‘Irish policy’ Irish Post. Retrieved on 21 November 2014.
- Mark Reckless MP Wedding, Kent Online, 3 October 2011
- Mark Reckless the best kind of MP Dan Hannan, Telegraph Blog, 28 July 2008.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mark Reckless.|
- Mark Reckless – Official Website and Blog
- Mark Reckless MP Conservative Party official biog[dead link]
- TheyWorkForYou Voting Record
- Public Whip Voting Record
- BBC Democracy Live MP Profile