POLITICS

Paul Nuttall Elected Ukip Leader As Party Attempts To Move On From Nigel Farage

New leader to target Labour Party

28/11/2016 11:49 | Updated 28 November 2016

Paul Nuttall has been elected leader of Ukip as the party attempts once again to move on from the era of Nigel Farage.

The former deputy Ukip leader of the party will switch the party’s focus away from Tory voters in the south of England to winning over Labour voters in the north.

Nuttall, 39, believes Jeremy Corbyn is vulnerable in Labour’s traditional heartlands to accusations he is unpatriotic and too pro-immigration.

The leadership announcement was made in central-London on Monday morning.

Nuttall beat former deputy chairman Suzanne Evans and party activist John Rees-Evans with an overwhelming 62% of the vote.

In his victory speech, Nuttall said a strong Ukip was needed to make sure Theresa May delivered “real Brexit” rather than “mealy-mouthed backsliding” on the referendum result.

“Under my leadership we will ensure this country gets the result it voted for on June 23 - and then we will put the ‘Great’ back into Britain,” he said.

And he told his party, which is riven with divisions, it had to unify and put the Ukip “jigsaw back together”. Nutall also hinted anyone in the party who did not get behind his leadership would get ejected.

Nutall, who is an MEP for North West England, said there was an “open goal” for Ukip when it came to Labour.

“Today the Labour Party has ceased to speak the language or address the issues of working people,” he said. “I want to replace the Labour Party.”

“They have a leader who will not sing the national anthem, a shadow chancellor who seems to admire the IRA more than he does the British Army, a shadow foreign secretary who sneers at the English flag and a shadow home secretary who seems to advocate unlimited immigration.”

In response, Jon Trickett MP, Labour’s National Campaign Co-ordinator, said Nutall was a threat to the health service.

“You only need to know one thing about Ukip’s new leader, Paul Nuttall: he wants privatisation in the NHS,” he said.

“Paul Nuttall has welcomed privatisation of the health service, arguing that the “very existence of the NHS stifles competition”. By electing Paul Nuttall as their leader, UKIP have sent a clear message that they pose a threat to our NHS.

“It is clear that we cannot trust UKIP and Paul Nuttall with the NHS. A vote for them is a vote against the health service as we know it.”

The latest Ukip leadership race was triggered when Diane James gave up the job last month, just 18 days after being elected to replace Farage.

Her decision to abandon the leadership led to Farage returning as interim leader just months after announcing his resignation.

He has spent much of the time since courting Donald Trump and promoting himself as the president-elect’s main ally in the United Kingdom.

The leadership contest took a bizarre twist when early frontrunner Steven Woolfe quit the race - and later the party - following a fracas with a fellow MEP.

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