Nigel Farage’s political career has been dramatically resurrected after UKIP’s National Executive Committee (NEC) voted to reject his resignation as party leader.
Farage announced his resignation on Friday morning in the wake of his defeat in South Thanet. He had repeatedly stated that he would resign if he failed to win election to the seat, and said he would “take a break” from politics.
However, UKIP chairman Steve Crowther said the NEC had “unanimously” rejected Farage’s resignation, claiming the election campaign had been a “great success”.
“As promised, Nigel Farage tendered his official resignation as leader of Ukip to the NEC,” Crowther said. “This offer was unanimously rejected by the NEC members, who produced overwhelmingly evidence that the Ukip membership did not want Nigel to go.”
He added: “We have fought a positive campaign with a very good manifesto and despite relentless, negative attacks and an astonishing last minute swing to the Conservatives over fear of the SNP, that in these circumstances, 4 million votes was an extraordinary achievement.
“On that basis Mr Farage withdrew his resignation and will remain leader of UKIP. In addition the NEC recognised that the referendum campaign has already begun this week and we need our best team to fight that campaign led by Nigel. He has therefore been persuaded by the NEC to withdraw his resignation and remains leader of UKIP.”