Paul Nuttall ‘perfectly relaxed’ by claims former Ukip leader Nigel Farage is ‘stealing the limelight’
PUBLISHED: 13:21 17 April 2017 | UPDATED: 13:21 17 April 2017
The new party leader told members in Margate Mr Farage was “a great representative” for Ukip
Paul Nuttall insists he is “perfectly relaxed” about Nigel Farage’s continued media dominance and claims he is being overshadowed by the former Ukip leader.
On a visit to Margate last week ahead of next month’s Kent County Council elections, the party chief told members he wanted Mr Farage, who has recently stood for election in Thanet and lived in Westerham, to remain a strong presence, despite no longer being leader.
Mr Nuttall made the comments while “dispelling some myths” about cracks appearing to form in the party, following the defection of former Rochester and Strood MP Mark Reckless earlier this month.
“Ukip is unified, very much,” he told supporters.
“If you look at my relationship with Nigel Farage, we came at this together.
“Many years ago I was his party chairman, I was the deputy leader of Ukip.
“A question I keep getting asked is ‘how do you feel when you see Nigel Farage stealing your limelight?’
“I’m perfectly relaxed – I want to see Nigel Farage front of house, I want to see him on television, I want to hear him on the radio, he’s a great representative for our party.
“For heaven’s sake, if it wasn’t for Nigel Farage we would have never got a referendum and we would have never got Brexit.”
It comes after a councillor said this week Ukip would “definitely not” be better off with Mr Farage still at the helm, and insisted his successor was “much better qualified” to take the party forward.
Mr Nuttall also told Kent News his colleague would have his “110 per cent support” if he was to contest a potential by-election in South Thanet.
There have been calls for a re-run to be triggered following an expenses scandal in which the Conservative Party is said to have “understated” spending during campaigning for the Kent seat, won by Tory MP Craig Mackinlay in 2015.
Ukip has already opened nominations for candidates, despite there being no indication of such an election being on the cards
Mr Mackinlay has repeatedly declined to comment on the row as police continue to investigate.