Deputy UKIP leader backs North East MEP to replace Nigel Farage

Jonathan Arnott and Paul Nuttal
Jonathan Arnott and Paul Nuttal

UKIP's deputy leader Paul Nuttall has announced he is backing North East MEP Jonathan Arnott to replace Nigel Farage.

Mr Nuttall described Mr Arnott, based in Hartlepool, as being committed to “building a team of all talents.”

The North West MEP, told a party meeting how he had intended to sit on the side lines and watch the leadership contest but had now decided to become involved following worrying party in-fighting.

“The new leader will will have a clean slate and will have the mandate to deal with these issues head on. And I don’t mean in a testosterone-fuelled, machismo fashion: I mean by skilfull negotiation and compromise," said Mr Nuttall.

“The next leader must seek immediately to put back together a party which is increasingly fractured ….. the next leader must seek and commit to leading ‘a party of all talents.’

“That means seeking to put the past differences behind us and finding the issues that bring us together and not those that divide us.”

Mr Nuttall described Mr Arnott is a “peacemaker” and a man with a plan, and said that a lack of planning has been one of UKIP’s biggest downfalls.

Mr Arnott, 35, who was the party’s general secretary for six years, told the enthusiastic audience at a party meeting that the party is going to make “our Brexit dream come true.”

And he hit out at the “doom-mongers” and “nay-sayers” in Labour in the North of England who seek to foster economic turmoil to have the pleasure of being able to say ‘I told you so’.

“They are no friends of Britain, they do not believe in Britain. We do.”

He continued, “I have long said that leaving the European Union is not enough to make Britain great again. It will merely give us the tools that we need to make Britain great again.”

He added that there was still very much a reason for UKIP's existence after the Brexit vote.

"We are the party that won’t just take power from Brussels and give it to Westminster but we’ll take power from Westminster and give it straight back to the British people," he said.

"UKIP will stand up for Northern working class voters, who the Tories despise and Labour have abandoned.

"We will get tough on perpetrators of crime and be the party of excellence in education, that believes in apprenticeships and scrap university fees for science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine."

Mr Arnott added that the great manufacturing tradition of the North should be an engine room of the UK economy.

He announced that if made leader he would make it UKIP policy to scrap the EU Procurement Directive which means being forced to give contracts to foreign companies for goods that can be made just as easily in the UK.

He added: “We don’t need another charismatic leader who will constantly be compared to Nigel. We need someone who will work hard, get the job done and bring us all back together. That’s the type of leader I’ll be.”