The MEP for the North East UKIP’s Jonathan Arnott has thrown his hat into the battle to become party leader.
Hartlepool’s Jonathan Arnott has tonight announced his candidacy following the resignation of Nigel Farage.
The 35-year-old former maths teacher aims to develop a more unified party with a wider appeal to all British citizens.
Speaking about his intention to speak directly to the millions who voted for Brexit but not necessarily for UKIP, he said: “These people voted for Brexit in a democratic election and our government must be held to account, to ensure that ‘no’ really does mean ‘no’ and that Brexit really does mean Brexit.
“It is increasingly clear, following Andrea Leadsom’s abandoning the race to become Prime Minister, that the establishment is organising itself for ‘business as usual’.
“Worryingly, under the new Prime Minister Theresa May, negotiations for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will be in hands of those who do not actually want us to leave.
“The Labour Party is of course in complete disarray, so quite frankly UKIP represents the only alternative to the establishment and will be the only unifying force for Brexit.
“Since June 23, the entire DNA of UKIP has changed. We are no longer a party of protest, but a party of the future.”
Mr Arnott who has been MEP for the North East since 2014 added: “There are many challenges that lie ahead but first we must hold the government’s feet to the fire to enact the will of the 17.4 million people who voted for Brexit in the referendum.
“I envision a party which will use the opportunity provided by Brexit to create jobs for working people, to protect our steel industry and manufacturing, to rebuild our fisheries and deregulate our small businesses.
“We will stand up for the working people who Labour ignore and the Conservatives despise. And we will be the party that stands up for our small businesses, helping them to create jobs and become the big businesses of tomorrow.
“We are not anti-immigrant or anti-immigration, but we are fiercely opposed to uncontrolled mass net immigration, which drives down wages and ultimately costs jobs.
“We’re finally moving power back from Brussels to Westminster, but now we must campaign further to devolve that power from Westminster to the people.”
Mr Arnott enrolled at the University of Sheffield at the age of 15 after gaining his A Levels three years early.
He left having attained a Masters in Mathematics.
He went on to become head of mathematics at a school in Sheffield before entering politics.
A skilful chess player, and former Yorkshire chess captain, Jonathan has also played for Britain at the board game Stratego. He is married and lives near Middlesbrough.
Mr Arnott has written a book about chess and more recently authored: “The Blueprint: Our Future After Brexit.”
He said: “Standing for leader has not been an easy decision for me to make, as I know the level of hard work and commitment that will be required.
“I have nothing but praise for the way that Nigel Farage, the greatest orator in modern politics, was able to devote so much time and energy to UKIP.”