David Coburn has hinted he could throw his hat into the ring to succeed Nigel Farage as Ukip leader and admitted the party has “a few problems”.
Yesterday the turmoil within the party continued as leadership favourite Steven Woolfe quit Ukip - having been hospitalised following an “altercation” with fellow MEP Mike Hookem. He warned Ukip it was in a “death spiral”.
Woolfe was the leading contender to replace Diane James, who quit this month after only 18 days in the job.
Farage, despite having tried to quit following the EU referendum result, remains leader.
Coburn, the colourful Scottish MEP, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning the infighting was to be expected after Farage announced he was leaving. “There are lot of excited people who jump up and down a bit,” he said.
“We had a very strong leader. Now we’re moving on and we need to make sure we try to discipline ourselves,” he said. “We just need to get a grip of ourselves and sort ourselves out and I hope to be trying to do it myself.”
Asked if he would like to be Ukip leader, Coburn said he did not “particularly” want the job, but added: “If I was asked to stand by colleagues, then obviously I would consider it.”
Coburn said Ukip was still needed as a party in order to “put a cutlass in the small of the prime minister’s back to make sure she walks the plank on Brexit.”
The main contenders for the job of Ukip leader include former deputy leader Paul Nuttall, former deputy chairman Suzanne Evans and Farage’s former chief of staff Raheem Kassam.