UKIP elects new leader days after being beaten by the Monster Raving Loony Party

UKIP's new leader Richard Braine on the BBC. Photograph: BBC News.

UKIP's new leader Richard Braine on the BBC. Photograph: BBC News. - Credit: Archant

UKIP has replaced Gerard Batten with a new leader.

Richard Braine has been elected after taking more than half the vote, a party spokesman has said.

In a ballot of members, the chairman of the party's West London branch received 53% of the vote - more than double that of his closest rival.

Freddy Vachha was second with 20%, followed by Ben Walker on 14% and former deputy leader Mike Hookem on 13%.

Braine was the favoured candidate of former leader Gerard Batten, who stood down after the party was wiped out in May's European elections, haemorrhaging support to Nigel Farage's new Brexit Party.

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Following his victory, Braine said he wanted to establish UKIP as the "far moderate voice of common sense" in Britain.

"We have got a great future and we are coming back. I am very excited and looking forward to leadership of this party, bringing the members together and delivering better results," he said.

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Batten threw his support behind Mr Braine after being barred from standing again by UKIP's national executive committee.

His leadership had become embroiled in controversy after taking on English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson as an adviser.

At the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election in Wales the party was beaten by the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, sparking claims it was "finished" after the SDP was disbanded after a similar defeat.

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