Ukip Leadership Frontrunner Says Putin 'Generally Getting It Right' On Syria

'We need to clear these people out'.

A frontrunner in Ukip’s leadership race has said Vladimir Putin is “generally getting it right” in Syria.

Paul Nuttall told BBC’s Sunday Politics that in the Middle East the Russian leader was “generally getting it right in many areas.”

“The British line and the American line before Trump has been let’s arm these rebels... We need to clear these people out, and ensure Syria becomes a stable state”, he said.

Ukip’s Suzanne Evans, another leadership contender, said she was “not a fan” of the Russian leader.

<strong>Paul Nuttall</strong>
Paul Nuttall
Matt Cardy via Getty Images

“You look at Putin’s record, he’s invaded Ukraine, he’s invaded Georgia, we’ve had the case of Alexander Litvinenko..”, she said.

Ukip’s previous leader, Diane James, who quit after 10 days in the job, caused controversy after she said Putin was one of her political “heroes”.

In an interview on the Sunday Politics, Diane James named Thatcher and Winston Churchill as figures who had inspired her, but also agreed to the addition of Putin.

When asked “other than Vladimir Putin, who is your main political hero?” she said “I can’t think of anyone apart from maybe Thatcher and Churchill”.

When pressed to confirm “So, Putin, Churchill and Thatcher?”, she replied “Uh-huh”.

Ukip’s interim leader Nigel Farage famously admitted his admiration for Putin to Labour’s former director of communications Alistair Campbell, in an interview for GQ.

Asked which current world leader he most admired, Farage replied: “As an operator, but not as a human being, I would say Putin.”

“The way he played the whole Syria thing. Brilliant. Not that I approve of him politically. How many journalists in jail now?”