Former leader Nigel Farage quits UKIP

ASSOCIATED PRESS               Nigel Farage

"And also obsessed with this figure called Tommy Robinson".

Writing his resignation letter in the Telegraph, he blamed the party for trying to bring in "extremists" and warned this would "damage the party beyond repair".

Yesterday, Ukip also lost its former deputy chairwoman, Suzanne Evans, who said she had become "increasingly alarmed" by the "perverse direction" Mr Batten was taking the Eurosceptic party.

Mr Farage - who joined the party's forerunner, the Anti-Federalist League, in 1992 - said he had worked "tirelessly" for UKIP with the aim of forcing a vote to "get us back our independence" from the EU. I made sure that UKIP talked about tough issues, but we absolutely excluded anybody who'd ever been a member of the British National Party, the English Defence League, we wanted to make sure that when the abuse was thrown at us it couldn't possibly be proved to be true.

He stepped down after helping lead the "leave" side to victory in Britain's 2016 European Union membership referendum.

'Under Gerard Batten's leadership, however, the party's direction has changed fundamentally'.

"Damaging UKIP is one thing, damaging the Brexit cause is even worse", he added.

Nigel Farage has announced on LBC that he has quit Ukip following the party's appointment of Tommy Robinson.

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He said the fact that Ukip was fielding "very few candidates" in local council by-elections showed it was becoming increasingly irrelevant in the electoral sphere.

'This means we no longer have a professional campaigning team. He said the party had squandered a chance to fight Theresa May's Brexit deal. "With regret, however, I must admit that I now do not believe it will do so again".

'Mr Batten's obsession with Stephen Yaxley-Lennon - to use Tommy Robinson's real name - and fixation with the issue of Islam makes Ukip unrecognisable to many of us.

Mr Farage, who is still an MEP for the South East, said he was leaving the party "with a heavy heart" and criticised the direction of the party under its present leader Gerard Batten.

"So with very great reluctance I have now resigned my membership of Ukip".

'I have always given him full credit for his work in UKIP bringing about and winning the Referendum.

"With the Conservative and Labour parties having openly broken both their referendum and general election promises, Ukip should be riding high in the polls".

He attacked Mr Farage on Monday, tweeting: 'Nigel Farage failed to get the UKIP MEPs to even have a vote of no confidence in me last Wednesday in Brussels.

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