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UKIP MEP Pa­trick O’Flynn has stepped down as the party’s eco­nomic spokesman and apol­o­gised to leader Nigel Farage for pub­licly call­ing him “snarling, thin-skinned and ag­gres­sive”.

The for­mer jour­nal­ist told col­leagues he felt “sin­cere re­gret” for his hard-hit­ting news­pa­per in­ter­view amid con­tro­versy within the ranks over Mr Farage con­tin­u­ing in his role de­spite promis­ing to quit if he failed to win a Com­mons seat.

Af­ter Mr Farage said he was resigning, the party’s ex­ec­u­tive re­jected it.

Mr O’Flynn’s com­ments led to open party war­fare, with sev­eral se­nior Ukip fig­ures call­ing for Mr Farage to stand down, while oth­ers lined up to de­fend him and two key of­fi­cials lost their jobs.

Mr O’Flynn said:

“I ex­press my sin­cere re­gret at go­ing public with my frus­tra­tions about the turn of events fol­low­ing polling day.

“And more than that, I would like to apol­o­gise di­rectly to Nigel for the phrase ‘snarling, thin­skinned and ag­gres­sive’.

“This is not what I think of him. But I think it ap­pro­pri­ate to stand down as eco­nomic spokesman, which I have done.”

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