Ukip leader: Richard Braine elected as Gerard Batten’s successor after EU election wipeout

New leader described controversial figures Tommy Robinson, Katie Hopkins and Milo Yiannopoulos as ‘cutting edge free-speech advocates’ in his campaign poster

Gavin Cordon
Saturday 10 August 2019 18:16
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Mr Braine becomes the party’s eighth leader since the EU referendum in 2016
Mr Braine becomes the party’s eighth leader since the EU referendum in 2016

Richard Braine has been elected as the new leader of Ukip after taking more than half the vote, a party spokesman has said.

In a ballot of members, the chairman of the party’s west London branch received 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 was the favoured candidate of former leader Gerard Batten, who stood down after the party was wiped out in May’s European elections, haemorrhaging support to Nigel Farage‘s 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.

Mr Batten threw his support behind Mr Braine after being barred from standing again by Ukip’s national executive committee.

His leadership had become embroiled in controversy after taking on English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson as an adviser.

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