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  1. ITV Report

North East MEP Jonathan Arnott resigns from UKIP

Jonathan Arnott, UKIP MEP for the North East of England, has resigned from the party.

In a lengthy statement he expressed his dissatisfaction with UKIP's current leader, Henry Bolton, as well as "those jockeying for position and trying to take his job."

He also took aim at what he felt was the party's weakened stance on Brexit, as well as a change in position on cultural and religious issues that didn't reflect his own views.

Mr Arnott will now represent his north east constituents as an independent.

He was a member of UKIP for 17 years.

There have been lovely, caring, wonderful people in UKIP over the years – people who are as far from the media stereotype of UKIP members as the North Pole is from the South. Many, like me, have seen no alternative but to take the course of action I must now also take with a heavy heart.

As an independent, I’ll continue to represent my constituents to the very best of my ability. Hopefully, unencumbered by the sewer of party politics, I’ll have more time to devote to what should always be the most important part of anyone’s job in politics: representing and serving people.

After nearly 17 years of trying to make this party something I could be proud to represent, I do not take this decision lightly but there is no longer any alternative.

– Jonathan Arnott