Welsh Tories say they won't be reckless when UKIP call

I know what you're thinking. Who's next?

Mark Reckless has joined Douglas Carslaw in staging a highly theatrical defection from the Conservatives to UKIP.

Mr Reckless left on the eve of the Tory conference here in Birmingham, leaving hacks to ponder if UKIP have another recruit lined up for the prime minister's speech on Wednesday.

Former Welsh Secretary David Jones admitted on Twitter that UKIP had called: "I'm a Eurosceptic and want a Euro referendum. Only the Tories can deliver that. So when UKIP tapped me up, they were told to take a hike."

The idea of politicians being "tapped up" does conjure up images of footballers being approached covertly by managers of other clubs but UKIP are said to do things rather less subtly - in some cases over lunch with a major donor.

Monmouth Tory MP David Davies told me he hadn't been approached but I asked if he was tempted to hop aboard the UKIP bandwagon.

"No I'm not tempted to join UKIP and I can absolutely assure you and everyone else, I will not be joining UKIP under any circumstances. I'm no more likely to join UKIP than the Labour Party or even the Liberal Democrats."

Only a cynic would point out that he didn't mention Plaid Cymru in the list of parties he was unlikely to join.

Mr Reckless does not appear to be the subject of mourning in Conservative circles. Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb told me: "I was very sad that Douglas Carswell's left - he was a friend of mine. Mark Reckless - UKIP can have him every day of the week. He's a very tricky and difficult individual."