Nigel Farage today ruled out returning to head up Britain’s anti-EU UK Independence Party, a day after its newly nominated leader Diane James resigned suddenly just over two weeks into her new job.
“Not at all. I’ve done my job,” Farage said when asked by Sky News about the possibility of returning.
“It is time for somebody else to do the job,” said Farage, who remains the acting leader of the party until a replacement is found.
Farage was one of the best-known faces of the Brexit campaign and quit following the June 23 vote to leave the EU, saying his life’s ambition had been achieved.
James, a UKIP member of the European Parliament, was elected leader on September 16 to replace him but the party is riven with internal tensions and facing a larger existential crisis after the Brexit vote.
James said yesterday that she did not have the “full support” of party colleagues and was stepping down “for personal and professional reasons.”
The Times newspaper said James felt shaken after being spat at on a train last week and was additionally reluctant to lead UKIP without assurances about the party’s funding.
Media reports also suggested she had decided to step down due to her husband’s ill health.
Lisa Duffy, the runner-up in the party leadership election, told BBC radio she was not surprised.
“I didn’t believe this was something that she particularly wanted to do, or had the passion to do,” she said.
The party leadership is expected to hold an emergency meeting in the next few days to agree a timetable for a second leadership election within weeks.