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Farage future in doubt despite key advisers moving on

The future of Nigel Farage remains in doubt today as leading Ukip figures row over whether he is the right man to take the party forward.

Much of the argument centres around a team of advisers around the party's leader, who have moved on since the argument hit headlines.

However, as ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports, that does not appear to satisfy some in the party, who are calling for him to step aside - again.


Major Ukip donor backs Farage to remain in charge

Alan Bown handing a cheque to Ukip in 2005. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Alan Bown, a major donor who has given almost £2 million to Ukip, has backed Nigel Farage to remain as leader.

In a short statement on the party's website, Bown said had "first got involved because of Nigel", adding that the leader "speaks for ordinary people which is why four million people voted for us last week".

He has had the guts to talk openly about immigration and it's only because of Nigel that now everyone is talking about this subject.

It's the first time for a 100 years that a smaller party has broken through to get 3.8 million votes to become the third largest party and this is due to Nigel's leadership. He has my full support.

– Alan Bown, Ukip donor

Farage adviser Kassam 'no longer working for Ukip'

Raheem Kassam, a senior adviser to Nigel Farage, is no longer working for Ukip, the party's leadership has confirmed.

Raheem Kassam (left) with Ukip leader Nigel Farage on election day. Credit: PA Wire

A Ukip spokesperson said: "Raheem Kassam no longer works for UKIP. End of."

The move comes amid a row over the party's direction, with the election campaign chief Patrick O'Flynn criticising key figures around the Ukip leader - believed to include Kassam and party secretary Matthew Richardson.

Speaking about his departure, Mr Kassam said his contract with Ukip was always due to end at the end of May.


Millionaire Ukip donor backs calls for Farage to quit

Millionaire Ukip donor Stuart Wheeler has backed calls for Nigel Farage to stand down as leader.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I would like him to step down, at least for the moment. And if he wants to put himself up in an election, then he has every right to do so,though I personally would prefer somebody else now."

Millionaire Ukip donor Stuart Wheeler said he would 'prefer somebody else now'. Credit: PA Wire

The spread betting tycoon also said "the type of campaign that's now needed has to be slightly less aggressive and more towards winning over people in the centre".

Farage: 'Not my fault' executive committee backed me

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has denied that his party is in turmoil after his campaign chief publicly raised concerns about the direction it is taking and his leadership.

Speaking as he arrived at the party's HQ, he told the BBC: "If the NEC (National Executive Committee) unanimously back me, that's not my fault, is it?".

On his departure when asked his response to Patrick O'Flynn's characterisation of him as being a "snarling, thin-skinned, aggressive" man, Mr Farage said: "I don't feel terribly aggressive I have to say".

Ukip campaign chief: Farage advisers 'need to go'

Ukip's campaign director Patrick O'Flynn has defended his decision to go public with his concerns about the party and the team surrounding its leader Nigel Farage.

Patrick O'Flynn said: 'I think my intervention will prove to be very helpful'.

He told Sky News: "I think my intervention will prove to be very helpful, because I think things were reaching an unsustainable footing in terms of the influence of these individuals on the direction of the party, leading some senior people to get to the stage of virtually tearing their hair out.

"These advisers need to go and everyone, I'm sure, will get behind Nigel and we will run a united team which will be a credit to Ukip".

Mr O'Flynn also said that Mr Farage was "poorly advised" to announce that he would quit as leader if he failed to be elected MP for Thanet South. He added that he tried to reach him after polling closed to urge him to stay, but was unable to talk to him.

The East of England MEP said: "Far better that he had not made that statement in the first place and had taken some time for reflection and consulted people who have got his best interests at heart, rather than some people around him who would like to take Ukip in the direction of some hard-right, ultra-aggressive American Tea Party-type movement.

Senior Ukip source urges Farage to 'take a break'

A senior Ukip party source has urged its leader Nigel Farage to "take a break" amid after internal tensions about the way the party is run.

The source also claimed that the party had not behaved in a "grown up" way since the general election, when Mr Farage tendered his resignation only to be reinstated as leader.

The senior Ukip source said it would be 'sensible if Nigel were to take a break'. Credit: PA Wire

The latest attack on Mr Farage came after campaign chief Patrick O'Flynn claimed he had become a "snarling, thin-skinned, aggressive" man who is turning the party into a "personality cult".

The source backed Mr O'Flynn's comments and added: "At this stage of the electoral cycle most parties would naturally have a period of reflection and a democratic discussion about the way forward".

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