AFTER an anonymous 18 days in charge UKIP leader Diane James has resigned her post as UKIP leader.
The resignation of the MEP for South East England technically makes Nigel Farage, who quit after achieving his Brexit goal, the leader of the euro-sceptic party.
“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,” said James in a statement to the Times.
The 56-year-old had succeeded Farage on September 16 after a shambolic leadership contest which was undermined by the suspension and barring of two key frontrunners, paving the way for the unheralded James to snatch a narrow victory.
Bitter divisions between the Farage and Douglas Carswell wings of the party, which won almost four million votes in the 2015 general election, were exposed in the leadership campaign.
Farage has acknowledge that under party rules he is now the default leader but reiterated his decision to step away from front-line politics, having achieved his central ambition.
I’m not coming back, I’m retired,” he told the Press Association.
The party must now brace itself for another fraught leadership election as it struggles to eke out a new political niche in post-Brexit Britain.