Richard Braine is elected Ukip leader with landslide victory as he replaces Gerard Batten who quit after haemorrhaging support to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in the European elections
- Mr Braine won 53 per cent of the vote, more than double that of his closest rival
- The local party chairman becomes Ukip’s sixth permanent leader in three years
- Ukip lost all its seats and slumped to three per cent of the vote in the Euro vote
Richard Braine (pictured) has been elected the new Ukip leader replacing Gerard Batten
Richard Braine has been elected the new leader of Ukip, replacing Gerard Batten after taking more than half the vote in a leadership contest.
The chairman of the party’s West London branch won 53 per cent of the vote, more than double that of his closest rival.
Freddy Vachha was second with 20 per cent, followed by Ben Walker on 14 per cent and former deputy leader Mike Hookem on 13 per cent.
Mr Braine becomes the sixth permanent Ukip leader in a turbulent three years for the party since Nigel Farage stood down in 2016 and took the wind out of Ukip’s sails with his new Brexit Party.
Following his victory, Mr Braine said he wanted to establish Ukip as the ‘far moderate voice of common sense’ in Britain.
‘We have got a great future and we are coming back. I am very excited and looking forward to leadership of this party, bringing the members together and delivering better results,’ he said.
His candidacy was backed by Mr Batten who stood down after Ukip was wiped out at the European Parliament elections in May.
After winning the European elections in 2014, Ukip hemorrhaged support to Mr Farage’s new Brexit Party and fell to just three per cent of the vote in 2019, losing all its seats.
Mr Batten’s leadership had also become dogged by claims that he was steering the party to the far right.
In November 2018 he appointed former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson as a political adviser.
The party also selected controversial YouTuber Carl Benjamin, also known as Sargon of Akkad, as an MEP candidate in May’s elections.
Richard Braine (pictured left at an European election campaign event earlier this year) won more than half the vote in the leadership poll
The new leader’s candidacy was backed by outgoing leader Gerard Batten (pictured) who stood down after Ukip was wiped out at the European Parliament elections in May
Mr Benjamin was widely condemned during the campaign for comments he made about raping Labour MP Jess Phillips.
Former leader Mr Farage had previously warned the party faces ‘total and utter marginalisation’ if it moves to the extremes of politics.
Earlier this year he said the party had ‘attracted individuals that I would never have allowed’.
The party’s strong performances under Mr Farage helped to pressure then-PM David Cameron into calling the 2016 referendum.
Mr Farage quit as leader after winning the Brexit vote although he later returned temporarily as the party went through a succession of leaders.
Diane James, Paul Nuttall and Henry Bolton have all led the party for short periods since 2016.
Mr Bolton’s leadership veered off the rails in a row over his relationship with 26-year-old girlfriend Jo Marney.
It emerged in early 2018 that Ms Marney had sent messages to a friend in which she said that Meghan Markle’s ‘seed’ would ‘taint’ the Royal Family when she married Prince Harry.
Mr Bolton was ousted as party leader in February that year despite temporarily breaking up to save his political career.
Source: Read Full Article