Ukip leader Diane James stands down after just 18 days

UKIP Announce Their New Leader At Party Conference
James was elected as the party’s new leader on 16 September (Source: Getty)

Ukip leader Diane James has stepped down as the party's leader after just 18 days at the helm.

Ukip sources have told City A.M. that James had "cited her husband's ill health", while others said she had been reluctant to stand for leader from the beginning.

The news was first reported by the Sun newspaper.

Read more: Nigel Farage says Britain could continue to contribute to EU budget - but will not compromise on freedom of movement

"I have been in discussion with party officers about the role. It has become clear that I do not have sufficient authority, nor the full support of all my MEP colleagues and party officers to implement changes I believe necessary and upon which I based my campaign," James said in a statement.

"For personal and professional reasons, therefore, I will not take the election process further."

James was elected as the party’s new leader on 16 September. She has been elusive of late, turning down more than one public appearance. Last week former Ukip leadership hopeful Steven Woolfe took James’ place on the BBC debate show Question Time.

She won the leadership contest despite her refusal to attend official hustings throughout the country.

City A.M. podcast: After the Brexit vote, what next for the UK economy?

Ukip’s sole MP, Douglas Carswell, told City A.M. he was “stunned and disappointed” by the news.

Her resignation has fuelled speculation that former Ukip party leader and prominent Leave campaigner, Nigel Farage, could be about to make a comeback.

Farage resigned as Ukip leader just 11 days after the UK voted to leave the European Union saying "I want my life back".

Related articles