New UKIP leader?

New UKIP leader Gerard Batten already planning to quit

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UKIP: A brief history of leaders

By Diane Cooke

MEP Gerard Batten is the fifth person to lead UKIP in 19 months, as the party's popularity has crumbled since the EU referendum.

Batten — who has previously referred to Islam as a “death cult” — had been the party’s interim chief since February after Henry Bolton was sacked over a racism row. Mr Bolton's glamour model girlfriend, Jo Marney, made a string of racist remarks about Meghan Markle, according to The Mirror.

Mr Bolton, 54, is already facing calls to resign after he left his wife for 25-year-old Jo Marney.

He took over from Mr Bolton in February after he was ousted from the party.

Following his sacking, Mr Bolton formed a new party to "campaign unceasingly for our full independence from the EU".

He said: "There is an urgent need for a new way of doing politics that truly involves communities".

The OneNation party's structures and management "mirror some of the changes that I sought to bring to UKIP".

Last month the party had attracted 54 followers on Twitter.

Mr Bolton had replaced Paul Nuttall (pictured with Nigel Farage), who quit after the 2017 general election - which saw UKIP's vote share shrink to 1.8% from 12.6% in 2015.

A global warming sceptic, in 2010, Mr Nuttall said UKIP would ban former US Vice-President Al Gore's climate change film An Inconvenient Truth from schools, calling it a "blatant piece of propaganda".

He also said he would back a referendum on capital punishment, "if enough thought that was justified", for the killers of children.

When Nigel Farage quit the leadership following the Brexit referendum, Mr Nuttall - immediately considered one of the favourites to succeed him - decided not to run, saying he too wanted his "life back".

But Mr Farage's replacement as leader, Diane James, quit after just 18 days in the job and the vacancy reopening led Mr Nuttall to put himself forward. As several candidates pulled out he came, with the backing of much of UKIP's establishment, to be seen as the favourite.

Mr Nuttall won with 62% of the vote and was immediately pitched into a media storm when two of his MEPs got into a fight, which left one of them, Steven Woolfe, in hospital. Mr Woolfe, a one-time leadership contender, has since left the party.

Mr Nuttall described the "altercation" as "probably in the long-run the best thing that happened to the party".

"Everyone woke up and smelt the coffee and understood that this was now an existential crisis and it was my duty to step in, stand in this election, win it and bring the party together, and that's what I intend to do."

Except that he didn't.

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