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
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.

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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.