Ukip leader Paul Nuttall finally reveals that he will stand in the general election

Ian Silvera
Stoke by-election

Ukip leader Paul Nuttall will stand as a candidate for his party in the general election, he announced on Thursday 27 April. The news comes after Nuttall refused to answer whether he would put his name forward. The right-winger even locked himself in a room of a Westminster hotel to avoid the issue after a press conference on 24 April.

"I will be leading the party into battle," he told LBC Radio's Iain Dale. Nuttall still has to announce where he will stand, but the decision comes just months after he failed to beat Labour in the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election in February. More than 69% of Stoke residents backed a Brexit at the EU referendum last June.

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Ukip donor Arron Banks and former Ukip leader Nigel Farage will not contest the general election.

Banks had promised to take on Douglas Carswell in Clacton, but the ex-Ukip MP decided not to defend his seat as an independent candidate.

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Farage, meanwhile, said he would be better served in the European Parliament, where he chairs the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group.

Ukip won more than 3.8 million votes at the 2015 general election and 12.7% of the vote. The latest poll from YouGov, of more than 1,500 people between 25 and 26 April, put the party on 7%. The Conservatives, with Theresa May promising to deliver Brexit, are on 45% – 16 points ahead of Labour.

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