Ukip leader Gerard Batten has taken a sideswipe at Nigel Farage as the Brexit Party takes control of the EU election polls.
Mr Batten insisted Ukip, which was led by Mr Farage on more than one occasion, was the “true” voice of Leave voters.
Polls released over the past two days have shown the Brexit Party storming to the top for voting intention, and Mr Batten is seeking to counter the new threat.
Mr Batten, whose party has seen multiple defections to Mr Farage's new Brexit Party, insisted Ukip has a future.
At the launch of Ukip's European election campaign, Mr Batten said the May 23 contest would "inevitably be a re-run" of the 2016 Brexit referendum.
Under the slogan "Tell them again", Mr Batten told the event in central London that the referendum result had been "deliberately and cynically betrayed" by politicians.
In a message clearly aimed at voters who might consider backing Mr Farage's new vehicle, Mr Batten said: "Ukip is the authentic party of Brexit, the true party of Leave.”
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He played down the importance of Mr Farage in Ukip's past success, insisting the party and the referendum result were "not the province of one man”.
And he said Ukip is a "real" party not a group of "rebel MEPs”.
Mr Batten said Ukip wanted "unilateral and unconditional withdrawal" from the EU "no ifs, no buts”.
During an earlier Sky News interview, Mr Batten said the Brexit Party was a "vehicle for one man" and added: "All you get from Nigel is rhetoric.”
The Ukip event took a turn after Mr Batten bizarrely told spectators: “We will send MEPs to Brussels, not to get our snouts back in the gravy train… you don’t put your snout in a gravy train do you? You put it in a trough. The trough is on the gravy train.”
And things descended even further when Mr Batten invited right-wing tweeters Sargon of Akkad and Count Dankula on stage.
Sargon of Akkad quickly launched into a wild rant about the media, telling the press: “I’m not answering your questions! You dirty dirty smear merchants!”
Sargon of Akkad launches into a wild rant about the media. “I’m not answering your questions! You dirty dirty smear merchants!” pic.twitter.com/MnEg6B6SI8— Alex Spence (@alexGspence) April 18, 2019
Well, we did try again. Unfortunately I didn’t get much of an answer from Gerard Batten although @Sargon_ot_Akkad did defend his decision to say he “wouldn’t even rape” @jessphillips by saying she was being a “massive bitch”.— Kate McCann (@KateEMcCann) April 18, 2019
He also defended his decision to say he “wouldn’t even rape” Labour MP Jess Phillips, calling her a “massive bitch”.
Mr Farage earlier hit out at his former party, claiming his former party had been "destroyed" by a "lurch towards extremism".
He said: "As Ukip launch their Euro election campaign, they now have just three MEPs. The Brexit Party has 16.
"The lurch towards extremism has destroyed Ukip.”
Just three MEPs - Mr Batten, Stuart Agnew and Mike Hookem - are listed as Ukip members on the European Parliament's website.
The Brexit Party has 14 MEPs listed - although Mr Farage claims the support of two more.