Nominations close in race to succeed Nigel Farage as Ukip leader


The battle to succeed Nigel Farage as Ukip leader is officially under way after nominations for the post closed.

The party's immigration policy chief Steven Woolfe is front-runner to take over, but councillor Lisa Duffy and MEPs Bill Etheridge and Jonathan Arnott have also been pushing for the crown.

Nominations closed at noon on Sunday and the candidate list will be announced on Tuesday after a vetting procedure is carried out by Ukip top brass.

Huntingdonshire councillor Ms Duffy has pledged to heal factional fighting in the party.

She is backed by former deputy chairwoman Suzanne Evans, who was suspended from the party earlier this year after repeated clashes with Mr Farage.

Mr Woolfe is the most high-profile contender after controversial rule changes limited who was eligible to stand.

Mr Farage announced he was quitting after the narrow Leave victory in the EU referendum, saying : "I want my life back, and it begins right now."