Nigel Farage has resigned as leader of Ukip

 
Jake Cordell
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Nigel Farage has stepped down from Ukip
Nigel Farage has stepped down from Ukip (Source: Getty)

Nigel Farage has resigned as the leader of Ukip, just 11 days after the UK voted to leave the European Union.

In a speech this morning announcing his decision to step down, Farage said: "During the referendum I said I wanted my country back. Now I want my life back."

Amid reports of a falling out with Ukip's top donor Arron Banks and rumours of links between Ukip and Conservative leadership candidate Andrea Leadsom, Farage said he would not be actively seeking a role in the UK's negotiating team which will lead Britain out of the EU, but would be prepared to play a role if he was asked.

He also did not rule out returning to the frontline of Ukip or British politics in the future, if the government did not go through with pulling the UK out of the EU.

I have decided to stand aside as leader of Ukip. The victory for the Leave side in the referendum means that my political ambition has been achieved. I came into this struggle from business because I wanted us to be a self-governing nation, not to become a career politician.

Ukip is in a good position and will continue, with my full support to attract a significant vote. Whilst we will now leave the European Union the terms of our withdrawal are unclear. If there is too much backsliding by the government and with the Labour Party detached from many of its voters then Ukip's best days may be yet to come.

- Nigel Farage

Read more: Nigel Farage's career highlights​

Ukip's sole MP, Douglas Carswell, who defected from the Conservatives in 2014 and has been at odds with Farage on a number of issues, posted a cryptic response to the news on twitter. Carswell is likely to feature in the leadership election that will follow Farage stepping down. Suzanne Evans, the former deputy chair of Ukip, is also expected to be a frontrunner to take over from Farage, though she is currently suspended from the party.

Farage previously attempted to resign after he failed to win the South Thanet seat in the 2015 general election, coming second to the Conservatives. However, his resignation was rejected by the party and he stayed on to fight the EU referendum.

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