Ukip is preparing to announce their new leader

Updated: 

Ukip will attempt to move on from the Nigel Farage era and draw a line under the farcical events of recent months when its new leader is announced today.

Former deputy leader Paul Nuttall is the bookmakers' favourite for the role, with ex-deputy chairman Suzanne Evans and former soldier John Rees-Evans also standing.

The contest was triggered when Diane James gave up the leadership last month, just 18 days after being elected to replace Farage. She subsequently said her relationship with Ukip had become "increasingly difficult" and quit the party.

Diane James
Diane James quit as leader after just 18 days (Ben Birchall/PA)

Farage returned as interim leader just months after announcing his resignation because he wanted to "get my life back".

The leadership contest took a bizarre twist when early frontrunner Steven Woolfe quit the race - and later the party - following a fracas with a fellow MEP.

Ukip's only MP Douglas Carswell has said he hopes the announcement of a new leader will provide the opportunity to "reset" the party. Evans is an ally of Carswell and the pair have a fraught relationship with Farage and his supporters.

North West England MEP Nuttall has vowed to press Theresa May to give Farage a seat in the House of Lords if he is elected leader.

Paul Nuttall
Paul Nuttall is the frontrunner in the race for Ukip leadership (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

He told the Sunday Telegraph it was "unfair and obscene" that the Government had not created a single Ukip peer. Nuttall has plans to target disillusioned voters in Labour heartlands if he comes out on top today.