Ukip frontrunner for leader 'misses nomination deadline'

The Ukip leadership contest has been thrown into disarray after the front-runner for replacing Nigel Farage missed the nominations deadline.

MEP Steven Woolfe has insisted he is still in the contest, but the political party has said no final decision would be made until after vetting procedures had finished on Tuesday.

Mr Woolfe claimed that "technical" issues with the party's system caused the problem, which meant he missed the noon deadline on Sunday by 17 minutes.

The MEP said Ukip officials were aware of the issues, but a party spokesman would only say that nominations had been received and vetting will take place.

They would not comment further.

The MEP's spokesman was more optimistic and said: "Steven Woolfe remains a candidate in the Ukip leadership contest."

The comments came after claims online that Mr Woolfe had been disqualified from the leadership race due to missing the deadline.

Before the deadline controversy, he had also faced allegations that he allowed his membership of the party to lapse for over a year, raising issues about his eligibility in the contest under new party rules.