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Nigel Farage to remain UKIP leader despite resignation

The head of Britain's anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) is staying on as party leader. The party's executive committee unanimously refused to accept Farage's resignation.

The party's announcement came on Monday, three days after Farage resigned because he had failed to win the seat representing his constituency of South Thanet in

last week's general elections

.

Farage had repeatedly said he would resign if he failed to win the seat, saying it would be not be credible for him to lead the party if he did not become a member of parliament (MP).

Due to the UK's first-past-the-post voting system, whereby votes for losing candidates in each constituency count for nothing, UKIP won just one seat in the British Parliament despite garnering roughly 13 percent of the vote.

UKIP chairman Steve Crowther said the party's national leadership committee felt the countrywide election campaign had been "a great success" and that Farage should therefore stay on as party leader.

"This offer (his resignation) was unanimously rejected by the NEC members, who produced overwhelming evidence that the UKIP membership did not want Nigel to go," Crowther said.

He said he hoped that Farage would continue to lead the party's campaign to win a referendum that would see the UK leaving the EU. Conservative leader and Prime Minister David Cameron had promised a referendum on the issue if he won a second term in office. But UKIP wants the vote to take place before 2017.

Apart from being

anti-European Union, UKIP

also seeks to greatly reduce the number of immigrants arriving in the UK.

Farage remains a member of the European Parliament.

ng/kms (AFP; AP)

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