DIANE James, who represents Hampshire at the European Parliament, has been welcomed by a councillor as the new leader of Ukip.
The MEP for the south east was elected as the party’s first female leader at a Ukip conference in Bournemouth earlier today and succeeds Nigel Farage in the role.
Councillor Chris Wood, a Fareham borough and Hampshire county councillor, said: ‘Diane James provides us with a steady pair of very capable hands to take Ukip into our next chapter where we not only bring back power from Brussels, but pass that power down to the public through local government.
‘Ukip is the true party of the people and real localism, you’ll see that come to the fore over the next year.’
Ms James, 56 who had been regarded as the favourite to succeed Mr Farage, won 8,451 votes during the election.
She is a former businesswoman and healthcare professional as well as the party’s home affairs spokeswoman.