Ukip leader Nigel Farage has addressed speculation that a “senior figure” within his party is rallying support to oust him as leader.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Farage said:
There is one person within Ukip agitating for a change and for a leadership election. He hasn’t had the courage to break cover but he must make his mind up - is his future with Ukip or not.
It’s a Conservative attempt, from the Conservative lobby, to try and destabilise Ukip and to use one or two people within who are disaffected.
There seems to be growing consensus among politicos that the unnamed party member is none other than Douglas Carswell, MP for Clacton, and the only Ukip politician to win a seat in the election. Speaking to his local paper, the Clacton Gazette, Carswell refused to either confirm or deny if he is the source, instead telling the paper “to ask him” (him being Farage).
In the latest on the "Coukip" scandal, Isabel Hardman at The Spectator says that more than one source tells her Farage was never planning to resign in the first place:
The founder and leader of the anti-immigration, pro-business party announced he would resign after he lost his own bid for parliament in Thanet South last week.
He remained leader after the party refused to accept the resignation.
The calls for a leadership contest are adding to the party's internal woes this week, which include the resignation of three senior aides.
There is now growing backing for Carswell to succeed Farage as party leader following Ukip’s failure to achieve a breakthrough at Westminster.