Anti-Islam candidate to stand for Ukip leadership

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An anti-Islam campaigner has been approved as a candidate in the Ukip leadership election.

Anne Marie Waters, founder of the Sharia Watch pressure group who has called Islam "evil", is one of 11 candidates cleared to stand by the Ukip national executive committee.

Her candidacy has divided the party, with some members threatening to quit if she wins the race to succeed Paul Nuttall.

Former leader Nigel Farage has warned Ukip will be "finished" if it goes down the road of becoming an anti-Islam party.

Other candidates approved to stand in the election include Ukip deputy leader Peter Whittle, MEPs David Coburn and Jane Collins, and London Assembly member David Kurten.

The contest was triggered by Mr Nuttall's decision to stand down following the collapse of the party's vote in the general election in June.

Ballot papers will be issued on September 1 and the new leader will be announced at Ukip's conference in Torquay on September 29.

The full list of candidates is: David Allen, Henry Bolton, David Coburn, Jane Collins, David Kurten, Marion Mason, Aidan Powlesland, John Rees-Evans, Ben Walker, Anne Marie Waters and Peter Whittle.