Paul Nuttall resigns as leader following Ukip wipeout

Paul Nuttall resigns as Ukip leaderITN

Ukip leader Paul Nuttall has stood down after being defeated in the general election.

He finished a distant third in Boston and Skegness, behind the Conservatives and Labour.

It came just months after he failed to triumph in the Stoke by-election, which was seen as a must-win for the party.

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Nationally, the party's vote share collapsed, down 11% compared to 2015, this time winning just 1.8% of the national share.

Nuttall was elected as leader after a leadership election that was sparked by the sudden resignation of Diane James in September 2016, who had only been in the role for a few weeks.

Long-term leader Nigel Farage returned on an acting basis before Nuttall was eventually voted in.

In his resignation statement, Nuttall said: "I am standing down today as the leader of Ukip with immediate effect. This will allow the party to have a new leader in place by the conference in September.

"The new rebranded Ukip must be launched and a new era must begin with a new leader.

"I never envisaged that I would lead the party into three by-elections and a general election in the space of six hectic months. I wanted at least a year of calm to rebrand and rebuild the party's structures."

His resignation will mean the party will undergo their third leadership fight in a single year.

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Soon after standing down, Nuttall deactivated his Twitter account (@paulnuttallukip). His final tweet, now available only by cache, was a warning over the future of Brexit:

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