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England Diane James neue Ukip Vorsitzende
Image: Getty Images/M. Cardy

UKIP leader steps down after 18 days

October 5, 2016

The UK's euroskeptics have lost their first female leader before she could even take office. UKIP is reportedly suffering from funding difficulties.


Diane James has resigned as part of Britain's right-wing UK Indepedence Party a mere 18 days after her election. Although she cited "personal and professional reasons," for her decision, British media suggested it was also a question of the party's funding as well as the intensity of some public backlash against UKIP after the Brexit vote.

"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."

"For personal and professional reasons, therefore, I will not take the election process further," she continued, meaning she would not take the necessary steps to formalize her election into a position as party leader.

James was elected on September 16, after Nigel Farage, the human face of the Brexit campaign, stepped down following the referendum success.

In her initial acceptance speech, the former pharmaceutical executive said the party would "outwit our opponents, we are going to build on our election success that we have achieved to date and do more."

When her departure prompted rumors Farage might make a comeback, he told the Press Assocation: "Not for ten million dollars."

James' replacement may well be MEP Steven Woolfe, who had been the favorite to replace Farage but was barred from running under dubious circumstances when he submitted his application 17 minutes after the deadline.

es/bw (AFP, AP)

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