REACTION to shock departure of UKIP’s parliamentary candidate

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Rival candidates have been reacting to the shock news that UKIP’s Stuart Moore quit the race on the first day of the general election campaign.

The MK North parliamentary candidate stood down on Monday after being offered a contract to work abroad.

Conservative candidate Mark Lancaster believes Mr Moore has thrown the towel in after conceding defeat to the Tories.

He said: “I have a lot of respect for Mr Moore and, having debated with him, I sense that like many others he realises only the Conservatives can deliver a referendum on Europe.

“In seats like Milton Keynes, a vote for UKIP puts Ed Miliband one step closer to Downing Street.”

Jenny Marklew, for MK Green Party, welcomed the party’s new chosen candidate 20-year-old David Reilly - UKIP’s youngest prospective MP for the election on May 7.

David Reilly confirmed as the new MK North candidate

David Reilly confirmed as the new MK North candidate

She said: “I am sorry that Stuart has had to step down, that must be disappointing for him.

“However, it is fantastic to have another young candidate standing in the constituency.

“I look forward over the next month to being able to discuss the differences in our beliefs and policies.

“I would be interested to understand what has led him to UKIP, obviously our parties have very different views on how to overcome the challenges we are facing in the coming years.”

“A vote for UKIP puts Ed Miliband one step closer to Downing Street.”

Mark Lancaster, Conservative candidate

A spokesman for UKIP Milton Keynes wished the departing Mr Moore “all the best” in his new venture. However, some critics questioned his reasoning for quitting the post.

Leader of the Lib Dem group, Douglas McCall, said: “So, he is going to work overseas. That will make him an immigrant worker. I thought UKIP were against those.”

The MK UKIP spokesman said: “Although only 20, Mr Reilly is a long standing party activist and speaker.

“His enthusiasm and enterprise will stand him, and us, in good stead for the election on May 7.

“We hope the electorate will get behind David and give him all of the support he needs in the coming weeks.

“We would also like to say we wish Stuart Moore all the best in his new venture working abroad, which he means he won’t have time for politics.”

> Milton Keynes North candidates:

David Reilly- UKIP

Paul Graham - Liberal Democrat

Emily Darlington - Labour

David Mortimer - Independent

Jenny Marklew - Green Party

Mark Lancaster - Conservative