Conservatives in Kettering have moved to deny speculation MP Philip Hollobone is on the cusp of joining UKIP.
The MP has been the subject of persistent rumours suggesting he could follow Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless by quitting the Tories.
Carswell, who defected last month, and Reckless, who announced his move at the weekend, were two of just six Conservative MPs actively supported by UKIP at the last general election. Mr Hollobone was a third.
The Kettering MP has been backed in to odds of 2/1 to be the next MP to join UKIP, according to bookmakers Ladbrokes – making him the favourite.
However, this afternoon (Tuesday, September 30), a member of the Kettering Conservative Association said he hoped to put the rumours to bed.
Cllr Michael Brown, an executive member of Kettering Borough Council and a member of the management committee of the constituency party, told the Northants Telegraph: “We are in constant communication with Philip Hollobone, who is working very hard for the Conservatives in Kettering.
“We attended his reselection meeting earlier this month. He was reselected by the party and we are very happy to have him on our team for 2015.
“He spoke about how to fight off the threat from UKIP and Labour in Kettering – he confirmed his absolute loyalty to the party.
“It’s time to put these rumours to bed.”
Last week, Mr Hollobone also attempted to quash the speculation, saying: “I am not defecting to UKIP.”