Mark Reckless, who last month became the second Conservative lawmaker to defect to the U.K. Independence Party, is focusing his campaign to hold his seat on blocking a proposal he backed when he was a Tory.
Leaflets going out to voters in Rochester & Strood attack a “Tory Stitch-Up” over a plan to build 5,000 houses in Lodge Hill, a rural area that’s one of Britain’s most important nightingale colonies. ...
Reckless was less troubled by the area’s wildlife in March 2013, when he made a speech in Parliament objecting to delays in giving the development the go-ahead. “The comparison to be drawn is between those 84 nightingales and homes for 12,000 people and jobs for a further 5,000 people,” he said.
Nick Boles, who was then the Tory planning minister and responded to Reckless’s speech, today attacked his former colleague. “Breathtaking hypocrisy,” he wrote on Twitter. “He lobbied me repeatedly in favor of development at Lodge Hill. Rochester & Strood deserve better.”
In 2013, Reckless was clear that the development should go ahead. He told Parliament that it had been delayed because “a study of some description has discovered that 84 nightingales might use the site.” He warned that delay would cause economic damage. “We are told by the prime minister that we are in a global race, but it is not clear that that message has yet filtered through,” he said.