Nigel Farage resigns as Ukip leader... but the show goes on
Those hoping that Farage’s resignation will mean the end of Ukip might well be disappointed.
Ukip could move to rebrand itself in a bid to exploit the crisis in the Labour party, following the resignation of Nigel Farage.
In a shock move this morning, Farage said that being in charge of the party had been "tremendous fun", but that he wanted to “get my life back”.
Farage ruled out forming a new party with donor Arron Banks, as has been suggested. He said he would continue supporting Ukip and that he will continue to lead the Ukip group in the European parliament.
Farage’s continued support for Ukip means that core voters are unlikely to drift away en masse. But the change of leader also gives the party the chance to reach out further to Labour voters in the north of England, perhaps with a more optimistic message.
With Farage on his way out, some Ukip insiders have spoken of the party now rebranding under the tag of ‘Newkip’ – although the party is not expected to officially change its name.
Some Ukip sources have suggested a ‘dream ticket’ comprised of leader who would appeal to Labour voters in the north and a deputy who can reach out to Tory voters in the south.
The Labour-supporting commentator Owen Jones tweeted that he was not celebrating the resignation because Ukip could now pose fresh danger to Labour.
One contender for the post of leader, Douglas Carswell, responded to the news by tweeting out a happy emoji. Soon afterwards, he said he would not be standing for the leadership.
Ukip insiders believe that Carswell would not have been able not gather the support needed to take the crown. Another leading contender, Suzanne Evans, could struggle to make the contest because she is suspended from the party.
That leaves three leading candidates for the job of leader. They are deputy leader Paul Nuttal; deputy chairman Diane James; and migration and financial affairs spokesman Steven Woolfe.
For an outside bet, Tory leadership contender Andrea Leadsom is 33/1 to land the job with Ladbrokes.
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