The UK Independence Party’s Interim Leader, Gerard Batten, has been elected unopposed as the party’s new Leader.
The MEP for London, and founder member of UKIP, 64, was made Interim Leader by the party’s National Executive Committee in February after members voted to sack then-leader Henry Bolton. Since then, Batten has made several public appearance to promote the party, and the party’s financial woes have apparently improved after an appeal to members.
UKIP constitution states a new leader must be elected within 90 days of an election being called, and with just under two thirds of that period elapsing, no-one has decided to challenge Batten.
In a statement emailed to party members, Interim Chairman Tony McIntyre said:
“On behalf of Gerard, I would like to thank all those who have given such tremendous support to him and the team that he has assembled around him over the past few weeks. He is currently working hard at building up the membership base, attending public meetings around the country and doing his utmost to raise the profile of the party. We are back on track!”
Strangely, the announcement has been made only via email to members, with the party’s social media platforms yet to make a statement.
Batten has served as UKIP’s Brexit Spokesman, and courted controversy last summer when he took to Twitter to claim that Islam is “a death cult”, which earned him a suspension.
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