UK Independence Party names Paul Nuttall as new leader

November 28, 2016 8:10 pm

Former Independence Party (UKIP) leader, Nigel Farage, (R) reacts as he poses with newly-elected leader of the party, Paul Nuttal, following the leadership announcement in central London on November 28, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

The UK Independence Party has named former history lecturer Paul Nuttall as its new leader to replace Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage, a political ally of US President-elect Donald Trump.
Nuttall, the former deputy leader, was elected with 62.6 percent of the 15,405 votes cast, defeating his nearest challenger Suzanne Evans, who won only 19.3 percent of the votes.
UKIP’s new leader promised to unite the party that has been a driving force behind ’s referendum to leave the European Union. The party has been in chaos and marred by infighting since Farage’s shock departure announcement following the Brexit vote in June.
In his victory speech on Monday, Nuttall vowed to put pressure on the government and “ensure Brexit really does mean Brexit.”
UKIP has been unsettled by two leadership contests after Farage announced his decision to step down. In the first contest, the favorite to succeed Farage, Steven Woolfe, was disqualified because he submitted his application 17 minutes late, and Evans was not allowed to stand because she was suspended from the party for six months.
Farage’s replacement, Diane James, stepped down in October after just 18 days in the job and the vacancy led Nuttall to put himself forward.
In his farewell speech, Farage promised he would not be a “backseat driver” in the party and would continue with his efforts to take the country out of the EU.
“Be in no doubt that it is UKIP that is seen as the leading eurosceptic group across the entire continent,” Farage said at a conference in London where the result of the leadership ballot was announced.
Despite holding no public office, Farage became the first British politician to meet Trump following the billionaire businessman’s upset election victory earlier this month.

 Nigel Farage (L) joins Donald Trump at a rally in Jackson, Mississippi, August 24, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

During his bombastic campaign, Trump found a close friend in Farage who traveled to the US and joined Trump on the stage, encouraging the Republican’s supporters to learn from the Brexit vote and overcome all odds.
Trump even suggested that Farage could do a “great job” as Britain’s ambassador to Washington.
Nuttall is on the same page with Farage when it comes to the supposed link between the Brexit vote and the US presidential result.
“Neither the Brexit vote nor the Trump victory was down to emotion rather than truth,” he has said. “They were down to the people realizing the truth that the establishment was not acting in their best interests.”
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