TORIES in Essex claim they will “fight every inch” to retain the Clacton seat.

David Finch, leader of the Conservative Group at Essex County Council, said the defection of the Douglas Carswell to UKIP is “desperate”.

He said the move is nothing more than “opportunism and complete disregard for the local people”.

“We in Essex will fight every inch of the way to secure the safe return of a Conservative MP for Clacton," he said.