Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Andew Beadle withdraws from leadership race and endorses Paul Nuttall

Andrew Beadle is the latest candidate to withdraw from the leadership contest and back Paul Nuttall.

His decision follows yesterday's announcement by Bill Etheridge MEP that he, too, was pulling out of the race and endorsing Nuttall to be the next party leader.

Paul Nuttall has received the backing of a number of high profile members, including five MEPs, the UKIP groups on Bolton and Thanet councils and the UKIP group leader on Hartlepool Council as well as former UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom and former leader fot he party, Lord Pearson of Rannoch.

A poll of 91 UKIP councillors for the Times puts Paul Nuttall way out in front with 42% of the vote, followed by Suzanne Evans on 22%, Raheem Kassam on 9% and Peter Whittle on 1%. None of the other current candidates are included in the poll but it is unlikely to make a difference to the outcome.

Suzanne Evans has yet to announce any of her high profile backers, presumably keeping her powder dry for later in the campaign. Raheem Kassam has the support of UKIP's second largest donor and Leave.EU founder, Aaron Banks.