The UKIP candidate who missed out on winning Hartlepool’s parliamentary seat has said he is considering running as party leader in the wake of Nigel Farage’s resignation.
Philip Broughton polled 11,052 votes in May 2015’s general election, with Labour’s Iain Wright retaining his position as the town’s representative in parliament with a majority of 3,024.
I’m considering running, but also for 2020 or if a general election is called soon, but it is still early days.Philip Broughton
Now, in the aftermath of UKIP leader Mr Farage’s resignation, Mr Broughton has said he is thinking about running for the vacant position.
The 32-year-old said: “I think Nigel has done an amazing job for UKIP.
“He has made us the third biggest political party in the country, has done an amazing job in giving us our independence back and taking us forward as a nation.
“A man of passion, belief, who stands by his principles and an all round great guy.
“Now of course we need to look at who should stand for the leadership of the party and I must say, I am considering it.
“We have only got one MP in Douglas Carswell and he has already said he doesn’t want the job.
“I think I have got the energy and I’ve done a lot of hard work in Hartlepool, I got the fourth best result in the country for UKIP in the general election and came within a whisker of winning and I’ve got a lot to offer.
“I’ve been involved in politics and I also have a lot of life experience.
“I’m considering running, but also for 2020 or if a general election is called soon, but it is still early days.
“I’m passionate about Hartlepool.”
MEP Mr Farage said he was stepping down from his role after achieving what he set out to do as the UK, backed the leave campaign to withdraw from the European Union.
Tesco worker Mr Broughton, who previously lived in Hartlepool Marina and now lives in Stockton, added: “I was a little bit surprised to hear he had resigned, but he set out what he wanted to do.”
The party won five seats on Hartlepool Borough Council, an increase of three, in last May’s local election.
Jonathan Arnott, the North East’s Hartlepool-based MEP, said the party’s task was to ensure Brexit happens.
He said: “When I first joined UKIP in 2001, that seemed like a pipe dream which might never be realised.
“We would not have had a referendum at all, were it not for the effort and industry of Nigel Farage.
“I look forward to working with whoever is elected as the next leader of UKIP, as we seek to overcome these challenges.”