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Nigel Farage marks final conference as Ukip leader by going for late-night swim

Nigel Farage admits he went for a late-night swim but said it wasn't skinny dipping. Credit: PA

Nigel Farage has insisted he kept his underpants on after going for a late-night swim to celebrate his final conference as Ukip leader.

The MEP, who has been replaced by Diane James, said he headed into the sea off Bournemouth because it was "warm and humid".

But he insisted it "wasn't skinny-dipping" despite earlier claims by Ukip financial backer Arron Banks that the pair shed their clothes after a drinking session.

"It was absolutely wonderful," Mr Farage said.

"I'm not saying we should recommend people chuck themselves into the sea all around the place but I can assure you it's not the first time I've done such a thing and I intend to do it again."

Mr Banks had made the admission as he told BBC Radio 4's Any Questions,Mr Farage would not make another comeback as Ukip leader.

"I can tell you he's de-mob happy because we had dinner last night and we had a few drinks and it was late at night and we went skinny dipping off the Bournemouth pier," he said.

"So, if ever a man was out to leave British politics,that's it."

Nigel Farage pictured with Arron Banks. Credit: PA

The revelation prompted fellow guest Angela Eagle, Labour's former shadow business secretary, to declare: "Ew, what a terrible image."

Presenter Jonathan Dimbleby also appeared taken aback and said: "Can we just record for posterity that you, Arron Banks, and Nigel Farage last night went skinny dipping off Bournemouth pier - is that what you said?"

Mr Banks then replied nonchantly: "Well, Nigel actually said to me 'let's go for a paddle', I said 'come on, man up, let's just go for a swim - strip down'."

The party's deputy chairman Diane James has won the contest to replace Farage as the party's leader.