BREAKING: Nigel Farage quits as Ukip leader
Nigel Farage has announced he is quitting as Ukip leader.
In a dramatic development, he said it was now time to "stand aside" and let someone else take the reins of the party as Britain prepares to negotiate its exit from the European Union.
He said being in charge of the party had been "tremendous fun", but that he wanted to "get my life back".
Mr Farage said: "I came into politics from business because I believed that this nation should be self governing. I have never been and I have never wanted to be a career politician.
"My aim in being in politics was to get Britain out of the European Union that is what we voted for in that referendum two weeks ago.
"And that is why I now feel that I have done my bit, that I couldn't possibly achieve more than we managed to get in that referendum. And so I feel it's right that I should now stand aside as leader of Ukip.
"I will support the new leader. I will watch the re-negotiation process in Brussels like a hawk and perhaps comment in the European Parliament from time to time."
He added: "During the referendum campaign I said I want my country back, and I'm saying today I want my life back. And it begins right now."
Mr Farage was Ukip chairman from 1998 until 2000, and became its leader in 2010.
Although he briefly stood down last year after failing to become an MP, he changed his mind and resumed control of the party within weeks.
His time in charge has seen him fall out with many senior figures within his party, including its only MP, Douglas Carswell.
Mr Carswell immediately took to Twitter to welcome Mr Farage's resignation - with a smiling emoji wearing sunglasses.
— Douglas Carswell MP (@DouglasCarswell) July 4, 2016