Party’s new leader res­cues Ukip from ‘far-Right’ obliv­ion

Daily Express - - NEWS - By Macer Hall

A FORMER Army of­fi­cer was last night elected as the new leader of Ukip in a sur­prise re­sult fol­low­ing a closely fought con­test.

Henry Bolton, a close ally of former leader Nigel Farage, won with around 30 per cent of the 12,915 votes cast by mem­bers of the anti-EU party.

He beat off chal­lenges from hard­line anti-Is­lam cam­paigner Anne Marie Wa­ters, who had been seen as the favourite, and deputy leader Peter Whit­tle to clinch the job.

After the re­sults were an­nounced Mr Farage said he was “de­lighted”. “He is a man of real sub­stance,” the former leader added.

Mr Bolton’s vic­tory was seen as the saviour of Ukip, with up to 18 of the party’s 20 MEPs threat­en­ing to quit if Ms Wa­ters had won.

Mr Bolton re­cently warned that Ukip was in dan­ger of becoming the “UK Nazi Party” if it chose a leader with far-Right views.

Call­ing

And the 54-year-old ap­pealed for unity in his vic­tory speech at the party’s an­nual con­fer­ence in Torquay.

“Brexit is our core task, however, it is not the end of the line,” he told party mem­bers. “With­out be­ing united, we can­not lead.”

He added: “I do not see my­self as sim­ply be­ing your leader – I see my­self as serv­ing this party.

“You are the party, not me, and this party needs to serve its country. There is no greater call­ing than that.

“I would call on all of you, whether you voted for me or not, to rally around the party, to be united.”

Speak­ing later Mr Bolton in­sisted he would not feel in­tim­i­dated by fol­low­ing Mr Farage in the role.

He said: “I’m not Nigel, none of us are Nigel.

“Nigel is Nigel and I’m not going to try and fill his boots. I have my own style, I have my own per­son­al­ity and I think you will see that emerge. When I’m stand­ing Nigel Farage said he was de­lighted with the re­sult up on the plat­form then I’m quite firm in my ap­proach. “But, actually, get me, like Nigel, in the bar with a beer and I like a laugh and a joke. I’m just as con­vivial as he is, I think.” The former Army cap­tain and exThames Val­ley Po­lice of­fi­cer has pre­vi­ously been a Lib Dem and stood for the party against Philip Ham­mond in Run­nymede at the 2005 gen­eral elec­tion. Mr Bolton de­scribes him­self as “an ex­pert in bor­ders, se­cu­rity and for­eign pol­icy”. After pass­ing out of the Royal Mil­i­tary Acad­emy at Sand­hurst as best overall cadet, he served in the Army as an in­fantry of­fi­cer. He was awarded an OBE by Princess Anne for ser­vices to in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity in 2013. He has two chil­dren with wife Ta­tiana Smurova-Bolton, who last year gave birth to their daugh­ter on a train that had just pulled into St Pan­cras Sta­tion.

Henry Bolton after his win yes­ter­day

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.