New Ukip leader Gerard Batten announces plans to quit
Gerard Batten has formally taken over as the leader of Ukip - but will resign in a year, the party has announced.
The MEP, who was serving at the party’s interim leader after Henry Bolton was deposed amid a racism storm, was officially confirmed as its boss last night.
He said he wanted to trigger a full contest for the job after being elected unopposed when Mr Bolton stepped down in February.
Mr Batten, who is known for referring to Islam as a "death cult", said: “I am pleased to accept the leadership of UKIP."
“Since my appointment as the Interim Leader, I have made a number of decisions that have put the Party on a firm footing financially and organisationally.
“As Leader, I will do all I can to work for the progress of the Party. UKIP is the only real opposition to our political establishment, and we are needed now as much as ever.”
Speaking to the BBC, he added: "UKIP is the only real opposition to our political establishment, and we are needed now as much as ever…
"I will not make any extravagant promises.
"We are essentially a volunteer organisation and we have a difficult task ahead; one which will require a lot of commitment and work.”
Mr Batten is the fourth Ukip leader in 19 months. The party has been hit by a string of setbacks and scandals since its support collapsed in the wake of the 2016 EU referendum.