Just 18 days after she took the mantle of running the UK Independence Party, Diane James has stepped down – citing personal reasons for her decision – leaving Nigel Farage stepping back in as ‘acting leader’. But, as SkyNews reports, MEP Farage ruled out re-applying on a permanent basis for what he called a “rotten job”.
Diane James, who had promised to help get UKIP ‘race ready’ for the election, became the party’s first female leader on 16 September after a landslide victory in the leadership contest.
In a statement, she said it was with “great regret” and the decision was down to “personal and professional reasons”.
The personal reasons are understood to be related to her husband being unwell, said Sky’s chief political correspondent Jon Craig.
Ms James said she would not be “formalising my recent nomination to become leader of the party with the Electoral Commission”.
But, she added:
“I have been in discussion with party officers about the role.
“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.”
And so, now, Nigel Farage has told Sky News he is temporarily back at the helm of the party…
But even as he serves as acting leader, the MEP ruled out re-applying on a permanent basis for what he called a “rotten job”.
“Diane James did not become officially, legally the leader of UKIP, so my name is still there so I will continue as the acting leader of UKIP whilst we re-do the election process,” Mr Farage said.
“I’ve done my bit, it’s a pretty rotten job being leader of any political party and I think being leader of UKIP is probably more rotten than all the others.
As Farage sums up:“UKIP without a leader is more electable than Labour with one”