Lancashire MEP Paul Nuttall today has announced he is standing for the leadership of UKIP – and believes he can unite the troubled party.
Mr Nuttall said: “Having spent six years as deputy leader and previously been chairman, I believe I am best suited to take the helm of the party when Nigel Farage, who has done a sterling job as captain, finally does get the chance to get his life back.
“I stand first and foremost as a unifying candidate, demanding an end to the infighting and squabbling which performs just one purpose, that of delighting our rivals.
“I believe UKIP can simply be much bigger and better than this – but we have to work together as a united team to do so.
“And I promise this – from day one under my leadership, there is a clean slate for UKIP MEPs, domestic politicians and members. It will in effect be Day Zero. We will pull together to fight forwards, not backwards.
“Because no matter who tries to falsely take the credit, few can argue that the historic June 23 vote to leave the European Union would simply never have happened without us.
“Although more than 17 million British citizens voted to leave the EU, only one in four of them voted for UKIP at last year’s general election. That is precisely where our opportunity lies.
“I am certain now, after achieving the Brexit decision, it is time to seize the day.
“Great Britain right now needs a strong UKIP more than ever, to hold the government’s feet to the fire in the Brexit negotiations, and to fill the political gap vacated by what’s left of the Labour party.
“We have a massive opportunity for UKIP to scoop up those Brexit votes as we are the only party that has always collectively believed in leaving.
“Jeremy Corbyn has spent years criticising Britain’s membership of the EU, only to abandon his principles on the issue when landing the leadership of Labour.
“And that’s where the battleground lies, in the vast Labour heartlands that voted to leave when their leader somewhat meekly advised them to do the opposite.
“The result was that millions of people ignored the scare stories from the other major parties and clearly agreed with us by voting to leave.
“And it is those millions of people who will be looking to UKIP to ensure that Theresa May’s government does exactly what they told them to do.
“It’s because of UKIP that the undemocractic and failing political construct that is the EU will, in our lifetimes, finally be a thing of the past.
“It’s because of UKIP that people can now have a conversation about the effects of uncontrolled immigration.
“And it’s because of UKIP that people are finally waking up to the fact that Labour has not been the party of the working people for many years.
“The Labour Party today is uncomfortably unrecognisable to many of their traditional voters. I say to them: Come and give UKIP a try.
“We respect your opinions, we’ll listen to your concerns, and we certainly won’t patronise you from our leafy Islington dinner parties.
“If you’re looking for a new way of doing things, and a new way of being heard, we are that party.
“We are the voice of the common man and woman. We are the future.”