Did you know UKIP’s first elected MP Douglas Carswell when he was a student at the UEA?

Newly elected UKIP MP, Douglas Carswell (left) and UKIP party leader Nigel Farage meet the media in

Newly elected UKIP MP, Douglas Carswell (left) and UKIP party leader Nigel Farage meet the media in Clacton after their by-election victory last week. - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

A politician who last week made political history as the first MP to be elected to Parliament for UKIP has credited his time at the University of East Anglia for what he has done since.

Douglas Carswell studied history at the UEA from 1990 to 1993. He was first elected to Parliament as Conservative MP for Harwich in 2005, and was re-elected to newly-formed Clacton constituency in 2010.

Mr Carswell surprised the political world by defecting to UKIP in August, and triggered a by-election which last week saw him re-elected under his new colours, with an increased majority.

The MP said 'I don't think I would have done the things I have done' were it not for his experiences at the UEA.

He said: 'The UEA motto is 'do different' and it made me think differently and be prepared to think for myself. Some universities are criticised for churning out people with similar thoughts, and I think at the UEA, when I was there, the idea of doing different, thinking different and being prepared to be different was very much part of the ethos of the place.'

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Since he was first elected, Mr Carswell has spoken at a Careers Centre event at the university, telling students about careers in politics, and taken part in a discussion panel event looking at the future of politics in the digital age at the UEA's then-campus in London.

For more on this story, see tomorrow's newspaper.

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Did you know Mr Carswell during his time at the UEA? Email your photos or memories to martin.george@archant.co.uk

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