The leader of UKIP has announced in Boston this morning (Friday, June 9) he is stepping down from the role following an election campaign which saw him fail to become the MP for Boston and Skegness and the party lose votes across the country.
Paul Nuttall made the announcement at a press conference at Boston West Golf Club.
It followed a bruising evening for the party, with Mr Nuttall finishing third in the Boston and Skegness constituency, seeing his party lose more than 11,000 votes from its tally in 2015, and the proportion of votes cast for UKIP nationally dropping from 12.6 per cent to, at the time of writing, 1.8 per cent.
This morning he said the party’s result was ‘disappointing’, but ‘expected’.
He said UKIP had become ‘a victim of its own success’, with the UK now on course to leave the European Union.
“Some mistakenly think our job is done,” he said.
He argued, however, particularly in light of this morning’s hung parliament, UKIP had a part to play in UK politics, describing the party as the ‘guard dogs of Brexit’.
He added, though, it would not be him taking the party forward as leader.
“I think regardless of the score last night, I have built the foundations for the future in this General Election campaign, but it will be for someone else to build on those. It has been an honour to lead the party I love and the party I helped build over many many years.”
And to those who have supported them, in Boston and Skegness and beyond, his advice was to ‘keep the faith’.
“UKIP is still here and UKIP is not going away,” he said. “I’m confident my party has a great future.”