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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".

Ex-Ukip MEP: Time for Nigel Farage 'to move over'

Former Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom has said the time has come for Nigel Farage to step down as party leader.

Godfrey Bloom said Mr Farage is 'rather capable of some abrasive behaviour'. Credit: PA

Mr Bloom told BBC News: "He has taken the party forward very, very well indeed, but he is clearly now an extremely tired and stressed man. Time for him to move over, one might think.

"One of the problems that Ukip has had for several years is that any constructive criticism of the policy or the leadership has got you sacked.

"You are out of the door at the speed of light. Any criticism of Nigel isseen as disloyalty to the cause".

Campaign chief's remarks 'not about Farage's leadership'

Derogatory comments made by Ukip's campaign chief about Nigel Farage were aimed at his team rather than the party's leader himself, an ally of Mr Farage has said.

Patrick O'Flynn described Mr Farage as a "snarling" man and said that the party looks like a "absolutist monarchy or a personality cult".

Patrick O'Flynn said Ukip's leader was a 'snarling, thin-skinned, aggressive' man. Credit: PA

"The only thing I would point out is this is not about Nigel's leadership," the source said. "It's not about his personality, it's more about the team around him."

Asked whether there would be changes in Mr Farage's inner circle following the broadside from Mr O'Flynn, the source said: "I don't know. It's still to be sorted out."


Ukip's campaign chief turns on 'snarling' Nigel Farage

Ukip's Patrick O'Flynn has launched a stunning attack on Nigel Farage, describing his party leader as a "snarling, thin-skinned, aggressive" man.

Ukip's campaign chief has attacked leader Nigel Farage, describing him as 'aggressive' Credit: PA

In an interview with The Times (£), Mr O'Flynn, the party's campaign chief and economics spokesman, accused Mr Farage of turning Ukip into a "personality cult".

He said Mr Farage is no longer the "cheerful, ebullient, cheeky, daring" politician of recent times and claimed that his behaviour risked the party being seen as an "absolute monarchy".

What’s happened since Thursday night, Friday morning has certainly laid us open to the charge that this looks like an absolutist monarchy or a personality cult.

I don’t think that even Nigel would say it’s been the most glorious chapter of his leadership.

– Patrick O'Flynn

He blamed Mr Farage's "aggressive" and "inexperienced" advisers and called for a "much more consultative and consensual leadership style".

Mr O'Flynn's comments come after Mr Farage was widely mocked for resigning as leader after failing to win the South Thanet seat he stood for in the General Election, only to be reinstated three days later after the party's National Executive Committee rejected his resignation.

Police probe report of electoral fraud in Thanet South

Police are looking into an allegation of electoral fraud in Thanet South, the seat which Ukip leader Nigel Farage failed to win at the general election.

Nigel Farage (left) joins comedian Al Murray in congratulation Conservative winner Craig Mackinlay Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Mr Farage lost to the Conservatives' Craig Mackinlay who won 18,838 votes to Mr Farage's 16,026.

A Kent Police spokesman said: "Kent Police has received a report of electoral fraud. Inquiries are ongoing."

Farage quit as Ukip leader after the result, but his resignation was rejected by the party and he remains as leader.

Ukip '100% behind' Nigel Farage leadership

Ukip's National Executive Committee has denied coming under pressure from Nigel Farage to reject his own resignation and said the body was "100% behind" the leader.

Nigel Farage Credit: PA Wire

It comes after reports suggested Farage was in the room for deliberations about the party leadership.

Chairman Steve Crowther said: "There was not the slightest suggestion that the NEC was anything other than unanimous in its wish for Nigel to withdraw his resignation.

"He spent a considerable time making the case for his resignation, and the appointment of an interim leader, but there was no-one in the committee who did not want him to stay on.

"He left the room while it was further discussed. I took the views of members and they unanimously asked him to remain as leader. The NEC is 100% behind Nigel as we go forward in to the referendum campaign which is already under way."

Read more: Nigel Farage tells ITV News: My return does not prove Ukip is a one-man band

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