Ukip’s outgoing deputy leader today launched stinging attack on the party’s leading lights, accusing them of creating a “cancer in the heart of the party.”
In his final speech as deputy leader, Paul Nuttall appealed for divisions in the party to be healed, saying there should not be a “Faragista Ukip or a Carswellite Ukip” – a reference to the falling out between outgoing leader Nigel Farage and the party’s only MP Douglas Carswell.
Nuttall said he “feared for the future” of the party if factionalism is allowed to continue, and urged Farage to refrain from “back seat driving” once his successor is announced.
In a powerful and punchy speech at Ukip’s annual conference in Bournemouth, Nuttall said: “Ukip has not been a happy camp for over a year and the animosity has spilt over into the media. No one has emerged from this with their head held high.
“The designation process between Leave.EU and Vote Leave created a cancer in the heart of the party and led to its leading lights using Ukip as a football. So much so that at the present moment the party resembles a jigsaw that has been emptied on to the floor.”
In a direct appeal to Farage, Nuttall said: “Standing down must mean standing down. The new leader will not benefit in anyway shape or form if any of us attempt to back seat drive.”
He insisted that the new leader, due to be announced this afternoon, “must not lead what the Westminster journalists call a Faragista ukip or a Carswellite Ukip, they must lead Ukip.”
Nuttall said the party could thrive if it focused on representing the “patriotic working-class” which he claimed had been ignored by Labour.