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South east MEP and former Rochester schoolgirl Diane James succeeds Nigel Farage as Ukip leader

13:40 16 September 2016

Diane James celebrates with Nigel Farage after being named as the new leader of Ukip at the party's annual conference in Bournemouth International Centre in Bournemouth.  PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2016.  See PA story POLITICS Ukip. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Diane James celebrates with Nigel Farage after being named as the new leader of Ukip at the party's annual conference in Bournemouth International Centre in Bournemouth. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2016. See PA story POLITICS Ukip. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Dartford family lawyer Elizabeth Jones came in fifth place

A south east MEP and former Rochester schoolgirl has been named the new leader of Ukip.

Diane James will succeed Nigel Farage, who lives in Westerham, and warned supporters his party it must be “healthy and strong” to deliver Brexit as he gave his final speech as leader.

In a crowd-pleasing address at the Ukip conference in Bournemouth, Mr Farage said: “We won the war but we now must win the peace.”

The party has been plunged into turmoil as rival factions continue to publicly clash.

Taking to the stage to a wave of cheers, Mr Farage promised “not to meddle” when the new leader takes up the post.

He said: “We can be very proud of the fact that we won the war but we now must win the peace.

“And the only mechanism to put pressure on the government to keep the debate live and to make sure that those 17 million people get what they voted for is for Ukip to be healthy and for Ukip to strong.”

Ukip has been plagued by infighting and factionalism, and a number of activists and party officials have recently left the party to join the Conservatives.

As a string of prominent party members warned that Ukip faced a battle for its very survival, Mr Farage hit out at party figures who he said are using Ukip purely to further their own political careers.

He said: “We have to change our management structures, and we have to guard - because one of the problems of success is that it brings people into the party who perhaps don’t do it for altruistic aims for the country or its people but perhaps are more motivated by their own professional careers in politics.”

But he stressed that Ukip remains at heart united, and said it could sweep up a lot of support from disaffected Labour voters and Tories who may become disillusioned with the Brexit terms negotiated.

He said Ukip has “changed the centre of gravity in British politics” and that many of their policies, such as grammar schools, have been taken up.

He said: “Not only are there millions of people out there who feel loyal to us, but I don’t think that the harvest of votes that we could potentially get from the Labour Party has really even started yet.

“And believe me, if Brexit doesn’t mean Brexit then, I think, there will be a very large number of Conservatives who will say there is only one party we can support.”

Dartford family lawyer Elizabeth Jones came in fifth place

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