Nigel Farage: Paul Nuttall has six weeks to prove himself as Ukip leader

Posted On: 
20th April 2017

Nigel Farage has piled the pressure on Ukip leader Paul Nuttall ahead of the general election by giving his successor just six weeks to “prove himself”.

Ex-Ukip leader Nigel Farage and his successor Paul Nuttall
Credit: 
PA Images

The Brexit campaigner suggested Mr Nuttall – who took the helm of the party last November – would be booted out of the job if the party underperforms at the upcoming vote.

Mr Nuttall himself set the bar high by arguing the party could win a “handful” of seats at the polls in June.

Labour Leave and Ukip facing Brexit campaign donations probe

Steven Woolfe: 'Fractured' Ukip has not got over being 'duped' by Douglas Carswell

Ukip top brass hit out at ‘trigger happy’ US strike on Syria

Mr Farage told Radio 4’s Today programme this morning: “He’s got six weeks to prove himself, hasn’t he?”

He added: “Paul has walked into this job and I guess he’s probably been shocked at how tough it is.

“But he now realises exactly what he’s facing and I think he’ll come through very strongly.”

The former leader said he had not yet decided whether to stand in the 8 June vote himself, but predicted he would probably win if he put his name forward.

Mr Nuttall said on Channel 4 News last night he expected his predecessor to stand. It would be Mr Farage’s eighth attempt to win a seat at Westminster.

And the Ukip boss added in an interview with the Daily Telegraph: “We are looking to win seats. A handful is achievable.”

But a senior party figure told the paper winning two MPs and 8% of the vote share would be “a hell of a good achievement” for Ukip.

A YouGov poll released today put support for Ukip at 7%, down from the 12.6% share they won at the 2015 general election.

In February Mr Nuttall lost a by-election in Stoke Central despite arguing it was the "capital of Brexit" in the UK.