Neil Hamilton becomes latest leader of UKIP after previous leader ousted

Neil Hamilton. Photograph: EMPICS Entertainment/PA.

Neil Hamilton. Photograph: EMPICS Entertainment/PA. - Credit: EMPICS Entertainment

UKIP has ousted their leader after just three months and replaced him with Neil Hamilton.

Hamilton, a former Tory MP and the last remaining UKIP member in the Welsh parliament, has taken over the top job after Freddy Vachha was removed after little more than three months in post.

UKIP's website lists Hamilton as the party's interim leader, as well as leader and spokesperson for UKIP Wales.

Vachha is said to be fighting the decision to remove him from his post.

In June he announced: 'We're back in business, we're a proper mainstream political party.

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Hamilton is the seventh person to take the UKIP helm since Nigel Farage stood down in 2016 after the EU referendum.

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In 1996 it was reported Hamilton had taken money in brown envelopes from Mohamed Al Fayed in a 'cash-for-questions' scandal. His libel suit against the Guardian collapsed, leading to his resignation from government.

In the 1997 general election he lost his Tatton seat to journalist Martin Bell. He left the Tory party in 2002 and joined UKIP.

In a statement, the party said: 'Freddy Vachha has been suspended from membership of UKIP, pending a formal investigation of a complaint of bullying, harassment, verbal abuse and other conduct likely to bring the party into disrepute. Suspension from party membership automatically suspends Mr Vachha from the UKIP leadership.

'It would be unfair to Mr Vachha to give further details of the allegations against him prior to the conclusion of the judicial process. This will be conducted formally, impartially and subject to the rules of natural justice.

'UKIP's National Executive Committee met on Saturday and unanimously resolved to appoint Neil Hamilton MS, leader of UKIP in Wales and a Member of the Welsh Parliament, to act as interim leader of UKIP in the United Kingdom.

'UKIP take reports of bullying and harassment very seriously, regardless of the rank of the alleged perpetrator.'

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