Former military man named as new leader of British UKIP

Kent politician Henry Bolton has become the new leader of Ukip.

Mr Etheridge was one of a number of UKIP MEPs who had threatened to quit the party if bookies favourite Ms Waters had won.

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who led the party's successful Brexit campaign, had warned UKIP would be "finished" if it embraced an anti-Islam platform.

However, Bolton will be aware that Waters proved by coming second in the contest that she speaks for a significant strand of sentiment among members.

Although he did not name her, his comments appeared to be aimed at defeated leadership hopeful Anne Marie Waters, the controversial Sharia Watch founder who has denounced Islam as "evil".

The result, announced at the party's conference in Torquay, was greeted with cheers in the hall, but not everyone is happy and Ukip's troubles seem far from over.

Farage tweeted that Bolton was "a man of real substance" while Arron Banks, the insurance millionaire who was Ukip's biggest donor, said he was ready to engage with the party again. He promised to keep Ukip at the forefront of the Brexit debate, but said it needed to expand its focus.

Bolton said after his unexpected victory that securing Britain's rapid exit from the European Union is the party's "core task".

Last year, his wife gave birth to their daughter Victoria on a train that had just pulled into St Pancras Station - his third daughter.

He told Iain Dale the new leader had his "full support" and would be on hand to offer any advice.

"I would call on all of you, whether you voted for me or not, to please rally around the party and be united because without being united, we can not lead and hold the government to account and achieve our core objective". Bolton reportedly said he was "fine" with the new design.

The party has been riven by splits and disagreements, one of which resulted in MEP Steven Woolfe being taken to hospital after a fight with another Ukip MEP. The party won no seats and just 1.8% of the national vote, down from the 12.6% of the vote it won in 2015.

  • Joey Payne