After UKIP’s National Executive Committee (NEC) today ruled favourite Steven Woolfe “ineligible” to stand in the party’s leadership contest, 62 per cent of voters in an LBC poll say they want Nigel Farage back as party chief.
UKIP’s former leader is way out ahead in the leadership poll, which asks who should lead the party after Mr Farage stepped down, having achieved his political ambitions in successfully campaigning for ‘Brexit’. Mr Woolfe’s name does not appear in LBC’s poll.
Placed second is Diane James, backed by 27 per cent of voters, followed by Elizabeth Jones at 5 per cent. Bill Etheridge, who represents the party as an MEP, has 4 per cent of the votes and Jonathan Arnott, Lisa Duffy and Phillip Broughton have 1 per cent each.
The poll features alongside an LBC article entitled “Who Are The UKIP Leadership Candidates?” The “guide” to the contest introduces most of the candidates with opinions and quotes of theirs that are out-of-step with mainstream media talking points. It links Diane James and Jonathan Arnott with Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, respectively.
Of Bill Etheridge, LBC mentions that the West Midlands MEP has written a book about golliwog dolls and that he would ban the burkha, while it introduces Lisa Duffy as a candidate who has called for a ban on Muslim faith schools.
More than 1,000 people have already signed a petition calling for UKIP MP Douglas Carswell to resign from the party in the wake of the NEC’s decision.
UKIP donor Arron Banks and MEP Victoria Ayling have alleged that Mr Carswell is implicated in or behind the “coup” against Mr Woolfe’s leadership bid along with fellow ex-Tory Neil Hamilton. Hamilton and Carswell have long tried to turn UKIP into a neoliberal, socially “centrist” party.