UKIP announce new leader

Paul Nuttall. Picture by PA.

Paul Nuttall. Picture by PA.

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UKIP members have elected their new leader to replace the interim Nigel Farage.

The party's former deputy leader Paul Nuttall will now take over the reins of the anti-EU party.

The election was the second in the space of a few months, following previous victor Diane James's decision to step down after just 18 days in the job.

Mr Nuttall took 62.6% of the vote, beating former deputy chairwoman Suzanne Evans, and ex-soldier John Rees-Evans.

The new leader has been MEP for North West England since 2009 and has served as Ukip's chairman and deputy leader.

Born on Merseyside, he is regarded as well-placed to poach northern working-class voters from Labour.

Of the 32,757 ballot papers sent out, 15,405 were returned with the lion's share going to Mr Nuttall, while Ms Evans secured 19.3% of the vote, and 18.1% went to Mr Rees-Evans.

Mr Nuttall is the head of the party's delegation in the European Parliament and was the favourite to take over from Mr Farage.

Many observers were surprised when the 39-year-old former history lecturer, who played for Tranmere Rovers in his youth, announced he would not stand in the race to succeed Mr Farage earlier this year.

But he was regarded as perhaps the most likely of the remaining candidates to be able to capitalise on the high level of support for Leave among Labour's traditional strongholds in the North.

He has vowed to unite the party.