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Ukip: Thanet council leader still to decide whether to run for party leader

The leader of Thanet council says he is still weighing up whether to stand in the election to become Ukip’s next leader.

Cllr Chris Wells said he was undecided about whether to put his name forward but said it was vital the party chose someone who was in touch with the party’s local government base.

Paul Nuttall quit as leader after the party’s dismal performance at the 2015 general election having been in the job for six months - a little longer than the 18 days that Diane James lasted before throwing in the towel.

Cllr Chris Wells has quit as TDC leader
Cllr Chris Wells has quit as TDC leader

Mr Wells who runs the only Ukip-led council in the country said he remained undecided.

“The field of candidates appears to be lacking any real experience of local government.

"Given that there will be no MEPs, Ukip does need to be able to build a strong base in local government. Those of us who have experience in these matters need to be represented at the higher reaches of local government.”

Only one candidate has formally declared: Peter Whittle, a member of the London Assembly.

The former leader of Ukip Nigel Farage says he will not be standing for the job - for now.

The man credited with forcing a Brexit referendum and who remains an MEP in the south east region said he could be tempted by a return to "the front line" if political leaders did not deliver a "full and proper" Brexit.

But he said standing in the contest to replace Paul Nuttall as leader would be "premature".

The election follows the resignation of former Ukip leader Paul Nuttall
The election follows the resignation of former Ukip leader Paul Nuttall

UKIP failed to win a single seat in Parliament and its vote share slumped to 1.8%, down almost 11% on its 2015 result.

In Kent - where the party has had some success - the election saw its vote share plummet by a staggering 62%.

In a newspaper article outlining the reasons for his decision, Mr Farage said:"It is already something of an ongoing joke about the number of times I have stood for the leadership and resigned.”

"To return now would be premature. But I'm still committed to the great Brexit battle and I will continue in my role as the leader of a group in the European Parliament, overseeing the Brexit process."

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