Live updates

Farage: EU referendum question is 'so much fudge'

Nigel Farage has criticised the question Credit: Jeff Moore/Empics

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has criticised the wording of the question that will be asked at the EU referendum.

Because David Cameron "is opting to give the pro-EU side the positive 'Yes'", he said, "suggests strongly that his negotiations are so much fudge".

"He has already decided which way he wants the answer to be given, without a single power repatriated."


Ukip: Govt failed catastrophically to control immigration

The Government has "catastrophically" failed to control immigration, Ukip has said.

After new figures showed net migration to the UK soared to 318,000 in 2014, Nigel Farage, the party's leader, said David Cameron's claim to be "pulling up the drawbridge" was "absurd".

Ukip's only MP, Douglas Carswell, said Government plans to strip illegal workers of their pay were "mad" and would "persecute a handful of illegal workers".

Steven Woolfe, the party's migration spokesperson added: “Today’s government announcement on illegal migration is a smoke screen to mask today’s appalling immigration statistics.

"In almost every area, net migration, overall UK immigration, EU immigration, non-EU immigration, sham marriages, bogus students, overstayers; the government has failed catastrophically."

Nigel Farage accepts O'Flynn resignation with 'sadness'

The Ukip leader Nigel Farage has responded to resignation of Ukip MEP Patrick O'Flynn from the party's fron bench by saying he accepted it with "sadness".

Nigel Farage (right) with Patrick O'Flynn (left). Credit: PA

"Patrick O'Flynn came in person to tell me he had realised that he had made a mistake and, being the honourable man that he is, tendered his resignation as UKIP Economics Spokesman.

"I accepted his resignation with some sadness, not least because he is very able and has been a great asset to the team. He continues to be a committed UKIP member and MEP."

Ukip deputy: We should be 'compassionate centre-ground'

The "compassionate, centre-ground" position outlined in Ukip's general election manifesto is where the party needs to go, its deputy chairman has said. Suzanne Evans dismissed the row over Nigel Farage's leadership, insisting the problems related to advisers who had kept him in their pocket.

Evans: Ukip should be 'compassionate centre-ground'. Credit: PA

She said they had been trying to take the party back to what it was several years ago, but stressed its future lay in diversifying and becoming more inclusive.

Ms Evans told the Andrew Marr Show: "I don't think anyone hates anyone. "I think we have had some problems with advisers around Nigel, who very much kept him in their pocket if you like and I think he has had too much influence from them."


Ukip MP Carswell urges Farage to 'take a break'

Douglas Carswell with Nigel Farage during the election campaign. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Douglas Carswell, Ukip's only MP, has suggested that Nigel Farage "take a break" from the party leadership and said his pre-election comments about HIV patients had been "ill-advised".

Writing for the Times (£), Carswell said: "Elections are enormously stressful. The immediate aftermath of one is not the time to take big decisions about the future. It takes a team to get the answers right."

He also appeared to echo concerns raised by economic spokesman Patrick O'Flynn, who claimed that Farage had come across at times as "snarling, thin-skinned" and "aggressive".

At times, Ukip has failed to strike the right tone. By all means we should highlight the problem of health tourism. But we need to admit that using the example of HIV patients to make the point was ill-advised.

Ukip has been at its most persuasive when we have been most optimistic. Anger is never a great way to motivate people — at least not for very long.

– Douglas Carswell

Ukip ex-chief of staff slams 'selfish' Carswell and O'Flynn

Ukip's former chief of staff has hit out at the party's only MP and its campaign chief for dragging the party into "major national disrepute" in the row over Nigel Farage's leadership.

Raheem Kassam, who will leave the party at the end of the month, backed Mr Farage and accused Douglas Carswell MP and party economic spokesman Patrick O'Flynn of acting on "purely selfish terms".

Douglas Carswell and Patrick O'Flynn Credit: PA

Mr O'Flynn had said Mr Farage had turned the party into a "personality cult" with his decision to continue as leader despite resigning after failing to win a seat in the election, as the resignation was rejected by the National Executive Committee.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Kassam called for Mr Carswell and Mr O'Flynn to leave the party and said they had "gone after" him.

I feel a bit of responsibility in the sense that the characters who brought this up, namely Douglas Carswell and Patrick O'Flynn, are acting on purely selfish terms.

They saw me as Nigel's sort of body armour and that if they went after me that they would get to Nigel.

These people are not acting in the best interests of the party, what they are doing is bringing the party into major national disrepute and I don't think they have a place in the party.

– Raheem Kassam, Ukip

Nigel Farage: I quit but Ukip dragged me back

Nigel Farage has said that he had been "determined" to resign when he had handed in his notice as leader of Ukip but "they dragged me back over the wall."

Speaking on BBC Question Time, Mr Farage ruled out quitting following Ukip infighting and said that he has a "phenomenal" level of support within the party.

Farage: Leadership contest would be a 'massive mistake'

Nigel Farage said he predicted an EU referendum as soon as May 2016. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Nigel Farage has said a Ukip leadership battle would be a "massive, massive mistake" and dismissed the current row within the party as "people letting off steam".

Speaking on BBC Question Time, Farage said the "level of support for me in the part is phenomenal" and claimed any change in leadership would be a bad idea with an EU referendum due, potentially as soon as May 2016 in his view.

He said he was "disappointed" that colleague and party economic spokesman Patrick O'Flynn had accused him of becoming a "snarling, thin-skinned, aggressive" man, but said it was a result of the election campaign creating "a huge amount of pressure".

"I'm sure the others would agree, and we maintained discipline as a party extraordinarily well during this general election compared with the past. The election's over, people are letting off steam, and we've seen one or two people fighting personal wars against each other."

Load more updates