Little-known candidate Henry Bolton has been elected as the new leader of Ukip in a shock result.
The outsider, the preferred candidate of Nigel Farage, beat the two frontrunners in the contest – anti-Islam campaigner Anne Marie Waters and London Assembly member Peter Whittle – to win with 3,874 votes.
He told the party members: ‘Brexit is our core task, however, it is not the end of the line.’
Former army officer Mr Bolton stood for UKIP as police and crime commissioner in Kent in 2016, coming second, and also stood as a candidate for the Liberal Democrats in the 2005 General Election.
Former party leader Nigel Farage tweeted his congratulations after the result was announced.
I am delighted @_HenryBolton has won the UKIP leadership election. He is a man of real substance.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) September 29, 2017
Warned against ‘fascism’
During the campaign to replace Paul Nuttall, who quit after a disastrous performance in this year’s general election, Mr Bolton warned Ms Waters would take the party in the direction of fascism
He said: ‘Under the wrong leadership, we could see a swing away from our traditional, secular values and stances; towards something far darker… we could easily slip towards the ideals of National Socialism.
‘The last thing UKIP needs is to become the UK Nazi Party.
‘In my opinion, using broad brushstrokes of ignorance to target and denounce one group within the UK population is absolutely wrong.
‘In fact, it’s very reminiscent of the policies invoked under both fascist and communist regimes during the 20th century.
‘Frankly, seeking to blame one section of our community for society’s ills is not patriotism; it’s a form of totalitarianism that goes against everything UKIP as a political force has ever achieved.
‘UKIP was set up to fight the ‘totalitarian’ effects of EU influence on British society.
‘Therefore, I will not sit back and watch the party be hijacked by those who seek to now seize on our success to drive forward their own agenda.’
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Dangers of ‘left-wing extremism’
Mr Bolton has previously cautioned against the dangers of ‘left-wing extremism’.
He said earlier this year: ‘So called political correctness is deterring the expression of legitimate opinions.
‘Left-wing extremists seek to re-write our history, tear down our monuments and condemn anyone who raises a voice in protest.
‘They are attempting to dismantle our identity and social cohesion.
‘The activities Antifa are as reprehensible as those of the BNP and EDL.
Left-wing extremism is as real and present as right-wing and religious extremism and is equally oppressive, violent and dangerous.
‘If we allow the left to redefine our history, they will dictate our future and you will be given little choice in the matter.’
New Ukip logo
Ukip also revealed its new logo at the conference – opting for a large purple lion.
Soon after the reveal, similarities were pointed out with the logo of the Premier League.
Ukip’s chairman said he is not worried about the possibility of Premier League taking legal action and ‘doesn’t mind Ukip being associated with the Premier League’.