Ex-Hartlepool MP candidate Phillip Broughton on why he won't stand to be UKIP leader

Phillip Broughton stood in the leadership contest of UKIP last year.
Phillip Broughton stood in the leadership contest of UKIP last year.

Former Hartlepool parliamentary candidate Phillip Broughton has revealed he will not stand to be the next leader of UKIP.

Mr Broughton - who was UKIP's candidate for Hartlepool in the General Elections of 2015 and 2017 - says the party needs to stop "banging on about Burkas" as it seeks to recover from a poor election campaign.

He also stood to be leader of UKIP in 2016 following the resignation of Nigel Farage, but missed out to Diane James, who was soon replaced by Paul Nuttall.

After UKIP's poor showing in this month's General Election - with Mr Broughton finishing third in the standings in Hartlepool - he says he will take a break from politics.

In a post on his website, Mr Broughton said: "I will not be standing as a candidate in the UKIP leadership contest.

"Following the general election, I am taking a break from politics to consider my future.

"When I stood in last year’s leadership contest I said that the party must broaden the message by talking about more than just Europe and immigration and we must change our tone.

"I warned if the party didn’t do these things it risked becoming irrelevant, and following the disastrous results for UKIP in the general election two weeks ago my arguments have been proved right.

"Instead of banging on about banning Burkas we need to bang on about the NHS, schools, law and order and the economy.

"The party now faces a choice that it can no longer ignore change or die."