Diane James new Ukip party leader

Outgoing leader Nigel Farage embraces new leader of the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) Diane James
Picture: Getty Images

Outgoing leader Nigel Farage embraces new leader of the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) Diane James Picture: Getty Images

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Ukip deputy chairman Diane James has won the contest to replace Nigel Farage as the party’s leader.

The MEP, who was the frontrunner in the contest, took the top job with 8,451 votes.

Nigel Farage. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor/JP License

Nigel Farage. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor/JP License

During the leadership battle she promised to have a ‘’laser focus’’ on the Brexit negotiations but refused to set out any policies, insisting she did not want to make “policy on the hoof”.

{http://www.scotsman.com/1.4179451|READ MORE: Some party members are ‘total tossers’, says Ukip’s David Coburn}

The leadership contest descended into chaos when rows over the rules meant that some of the party’s best known figures were blocked from standing.

The ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) said all candidates must have been a member of the party for at least five years. It meant Mr Carswell and fellow Conservative defector Mark Reckless were not able to enter the contest.

Suzanne Evans, who was given a six month suspension from the party in March, wanted to run but said a “handful of people at the top” had ensured she could not.

Migration spokesman Steven Woolfe was widely expected to take the party’s job but his application was rejected by the NEC after it was submitted 17 minutes past the deadline.

The MEP blamed technical difficulties for the delay and supporters claimed he had been the victim of a coup led by Mr Carswell and his allies.

{http://www.scotsman.com/1.4092989|READ MORE: Ukip are ‘real party of independence,’ claims Nigel Farage}

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