Henry Bolton elected UKIP leader
29 September 2017 News
Former soldier and police officer Henry Bolton has been elected UKIP leader – the party’s fourth in just over a year.
Mr Bolton, who saw off challenges from better-known contenders, told UKIP members: “Brexit is our core task. However it is not the end of the line.”
Controversial anti-Islam candidate Anne Marie Waters finished second. Some MEPs had threatened to quit if she won.
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage said he was delighted and praised Mr Bolton as “a man of real substance”.
The party’s leadership has been in flux since Mr Farage quit, following the 2016 referendum which saw the UK vote to leave the EU – the issue for which UKIP had long campaigned.
Mr Bolton’s win came as a surprise to some as Sharia Watch founder Ms Waters had been the bookies’ favourite and London Assembly member Peter Whittle was considered a front runner. In the end, Mr Bolton won with 30% of the 12,915 votes cast, Ms Waters got 21% and Mr Whittle came in fifth with 11% in a seven-way contest.
The 54-year-old former soldier, who also served with Thames Valley police and has worked for the UN, stood for UKIP as police and crime commissioner in Kent in 2016, coming second. In 2005, he was a parliamentary candidate for the Lib Dems.