TORQUAY – UNITED KINGDOM – Henry Bolton said that “failure is not an option” after being elected as the new leader of the UK independence Party at its annual conference.
Bolton, a 54-year-old former British Army officer and diplomat who was awarded an OBE for international security in 2013, defeated Anne-Marie Waters, who had been bookies’ favourite to win, into second place. John Rees-Evans, who was NMC’s preferred candidate to win, came fourth behind David Kurten. Peter Whittle, who had been the long-standing favourite before Waters’ surge, came a lowly fifth. Jane Collins and Aidan Powlesland came sixth and seventh respectively.
During his first full speech as leader, Bolton said that Britain “must demand the repeal of the European Comminities Act and be prepared to leave (the EU) now”.
Bolton castigated the Prime Minister Theresa May for her recent speech in Florence regarding Britain’s Brexit position, as well as her decision to slash Britain’s defence budget, citing the decision to slash 1,000 Royal Marines as well as Britain having “fewer main battle tanks than Switzerland.”
Bolton, turning to matters of the party, rejected its 2017 General Election in favour of returning to policies closer to its 2015 offering. He also pledged to ensure the party is better prepared for future elections with better training, planning and earlier selection of local candidates.
Bolton also announced a tour of Britain to engage with members in order to listen to their thoughts as shaping of the party begins under his reign.
Currently there is no indication as to who Bolton will appoint to his team, but NMC understands that Kurten has been offered post of Deputy Leader.
Nigel Farage conveyed his happiness at the result, telling LBC Radio: “He got my vote that was no doubt at all,” and that Bolton was “a man of achievement and a man of substance.”
Regardless of who had won the contest, UKIP was to unveil a rebrand that had been agreed in the Spring.
As well as a new tagline – “For The Nation,” two logo designs were shown with the decision of which won being made by members. A new emblem, featuring a watchful lion, was chosen over a yellow-and-purple “swoosh”.
Jack Oliver Smith is the Associate Editor of New Media Central. Follow him on Twitter @MisterJackSmith