Ousted Ukip leader launches new political party

Former Ukip leader Henry Bolton has announced he is founding a new political party.

Mr Bolton, who quit Ukip after losing members' support over his relationship with a younger woman, said that the OneNation party would represent voters who want to see a "confident, optimistic, prosperous and secure" UK emerge from Brexit.

The new party's structures and management will "mirror some of the changes that I sought to bring to Ukip when its leader", he said.

Mr Bolton, 55, lasted less than 150 days as Ukip leader after being elected last September.

His romance with 25-year-old model Jo Marney caused controversy after racist texts she had previously sent became public, and he was voted out by members on February 17.

Mr Bolton said that OneNation would be dedicated to building a Britain that was "outward-looking" while "preserving its own heritage and culture - a nation that has a clear and comfortable identity and is proud to be called British".

Explaining the new party's name - borrowed from Victorian-era PM Benjamin Disraeli - Mr Bolton said: "Following a highly divisive Brexit debate and as we leave the European Union, the success of the United Kingdom can only be assured if we unite; if we pull together as One Nation.

"There is a need for a truly professional political party that believes in Britain, that preserves our national identity, culture, heritage and confidence and talks our great nation up rather than down."

Ukip was seen as fulfilling that role prior to the 2016 referendum, but had since "sadly lost much of its influence and ability to shape national events".