Ukip’s defeated anti-Islam leadership candidate is set to quit and set up a new political party.
Anne Marie Waters, who secured 21 per cent of the vote in last week’s election to finish second despite being favourite to win for much of the race, made the announcement on Twitter.
Waters has proven a controversial figure within Ukip – drawing support from many for her outspoken views, particularly on Islam.
New UKIP leader Henry Bolton OBE implied that by not electing her, the party had avoided becoming a Nazi party.
Asked after his victory whether the party had avoided becoming a UK version of the Nazi Party, Mr Bolton said: “Absolutely, the party has today voted for a leader who has been very open about what he feels is the way forward, and that’s myself of course.”
Following Waters’ defeat, she declared that it was “Jihad 1, Truth 0“, while there was an outcry on social media from many of her supporters.
Singer Morrissey even claimed the vote was rigged against her.
The most outspoken comment came from former EDL leader Tommy Robinson, who pleaded with her to start her own party.
Her new party, provisionally titled “For Britain”, will be the third organisation she has helped set up in four years.
She started Sharia Watch UK in 2014, and PEGIDA UK in early 2016 along with Mr Robinson.
Ms Waters has a controversial past.
She has previously described Islam as ‘evil’ and implied support for a policy similar to President Trump’s Muslim ban.
She has also accused previous UKIP leader Paul Nuttall of being too “politically correct”.
Waters’ new party will offer an alternative narrative that will be some way to the right of UKIP.
Supporters of Waters and Robinson see UKIP and Nigel Farage as having betrayed their cause, making any quick reunion unlikely.