UKIP names new leader Paul Nuttall to replace Donald Trump ally Nigel Farage – will Paul bond with Trump?
Britain’s anti-EU party UKIP elected former history lecturer Paul Nuttall as its new leader to take over from Brexit firebrand Nigel Farage, a political ally of US President-elect Donald Trump.
Paul Nuttall has big shoes to fill concerning making an impact with the President-elect, but Ukip supporters are more than optimistic that Donald Trump will take to Paul Nuttall without issue, and vice versa.
Nuttall promised to unite the party — a driving force behind Britain’s vote to leave the EU — which has been under threat from bitter infighting following Farage’s departure announcement.
But the Labour Party is now very worried, very worried indeed.
Labour MPs may soon become an endangered species.
The SNP took all of them out in Scotland – except one – at last year’s general election, and the Tories’ takeover of southern England left the party with little to fall back on except its northern heartlands.
They won’t be able to rest easy there, as Ukip is coming for them hard and fast, there is no hiding place for labour now.
He hopes his focus on the North and Midlands will mean Ukip can win seats “running into the double figures” at the next general election.
Thanks to Jeremy Corbyn, he can expect to do very well.
In his farewell speech, Nigel Farage promised he would not be a “backseat driver” in the party but would see out his term as European Parliament lawmaker until 2020 and continue with his Brexit campaigning.
Farage said the European project was now “fatally weakened”, predicting setbacks in Austria, France, Italy and the Netherlands in the coming months.
“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 of party members was announced.
Tensions within UKIP burst into the open when newly-elected party leader Diane James stepped down in October just 18 days after winning a previous leadership ballot.
A fight then broke out between UKIP MEPs in the European Parliament in Strasbourg that put then leadership favourite Steven Woolfe in hospital.
Nuttall, 39, stressed the need for unity in the party and said his role would be to ensure that there will be no backsliding on Brexit by the government.
Since announcing his resignation following the EU referendum in June, Farage has ridden the wave of his campaign’s success to the United States where he appeared at a Trump rally in Mississippi.
Despite holding no public office, the beer-drinking “man of the people” — as he is often described — became the first British politician to meet Trump following the Republican’s shock election win.
Trump even recommended his anti-establishment ally as US ambassador, in a tweet that ruffled feathers in Downing Street, with British Prime Minister Theresa retorting that there was “no vacancy”.
Swapping his usual pint of ale for champagne at a party at London’s plush Ritz hotel this week, Farage revelled in the suggestion, holding up a tray of Ferrero Rocher chocolates in reference to the ambassador’s reception in an often parodied television advert.
In a speech to guests posted on YouTube he said 2016 had been “the year of the big political revolution”.
“When people look back in 100 years, 200 years, 2016 will stand out as one of those great historic years,” he added.
Farage’s exuberance cannot mask the turmoil engulfing his party, however.
Adding to the leadership fiasco, UKIP was accused this month of using EU funds to finance its Brexit campaign, in breach of party funding rules.