Could Cambridgeshire UKIP Councillor Lisa Duffy be the party's next leader?
PUBLISHED: 16:50 12 July 2016 | UPDATED: 16:50 12 July 2016
A UKIP councillor from Cambridgeshire is being touted as the next leader of the party following the resignation of Nigel Farage.
Ramsey Councillor Lisa Duffy is set to officially launch her leadership campaign on July 26 and is likely to go head to head with MEP Steven Woolfe.
Mr Woolfe, who is MEP for North West England, is UKIP’s spokesman for migration and financial affairs.
And according to Jay Beecher, deputy chairman of UKIP Peterborough, and campaign supporter, Cllr Duffy is favourite to win the vote when it is held in September.
Mr Beecher says Cllr Duffy, who represents Ramsey on Huntingdonshire District Council, is the most qualified to fill Mr Farage’s shoes having been a grass roots party member for over 12 years.
He said she has the backing of former leadership favourite Paul Nuttall, the party’s deputy leader, who ruled himself out as Mr Farage’s replacement at the weekend.
In a statement Mr Nuttall, MEP for North West England, said he would not seek the top job and would stand down as the party’s number two at the UKIP conference later this year.
Mr Beecher said Cllr Duffy will officially launch her leadership campaign and will hold a series of events both nationally and locally to drum up support.
He described Cllr Duffy as the ideal candidate and the most qualified to take over from Mr Farage, who she has worked closely with in the past.
She is a former UKIP party director and has helped in numerous successful campaigns including supporting Douglas Carswell’s successful parliamentary campaign.
She helped launch the party’s youth wing and Mr Beecher says she will take UKIP forward by building a more professional and main stream party.
“She will want to concentrate on the structure with regards to campaigning, ensuring the party moves forward in the way it needs to. She is the candidate we need to lead our party and she has my full backing,” said Mr Beecher.
Ballot papers will be sent to all UKIP party members on September 1 and the count will take place on September 16.
“It seems a long way away but it will come round really quickly, which is why Lisa is keen to get her campaign underway. There will be a range of events both nationally and locally following the launch on July 26 in London.”
Patrick O’Flynn MEP has said: “Lisa will be perfect for UKIP. I give her my full support and am excited about where she will take the party from here”.