Ukip MP Douglas Carswell never really left the Tories, says Nigel Farage

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Nigel Farage has intensified his war of words with Ukip's only MP by insisting that Tory defector Douglas Carswell never really left the Conservatives.

The former Ukip leader again urged colleagues to expel the Clacton MP after an extraordinary day of public backbiting in the party.

Amid reports that Mr Carswell is in talks with the Tories about switching back, Mr Farage told the Press Association: "Did he ever leave the Conservatives? He was certainly representing them during the referendum campaign."

Mr Farage said the MP had to go because "I don't want my successor to have to put up with the same sabotage and division that I did".

On Tuesday, Mr Carswell said he had an "amicable" meeting with party chairman Paul Oakden and was happy to continue to represent Ukip in the Commons.

He told the Press Association: "Contrary to a lot of speculation, we had a very polite and amicable meeting. I think he has done a wonderful job as party chairman."

As the party descended into fresh chaos after Mr Farage called for the MP to be ousted, leader Paul Nuttall asked Mr Oakden to meet Mr Carswell for talks.

Mr Farage unleashed his attacks on Mr Carswell as the row heated up over claims that the MP played a role in blocking a knighthood for the former leader.

Leaked emails show Mr Carswell joked that Mr Farage should be given an OBE "for services to headline writers".

The MP, who defected from the Conservatives in 2014, responded with a provocative late-night tweet saying "Knight night".

This prompted millionaire Ukip funder Arron Banks to declare he is ready to stand against Mr Carswell in the 2020 general election.

Mr Farage said the comments should not be taken "too seriously".

However, a later tweet suggested Mr Banks was taking his challenge to Mr Carswell seriously and making practical arrangements to prepare an election campaign.

"We will have a high street shop in Clacton, professional agent appointed soon and I will be rolling my sleeves up," said Mr Banks.