Councillor hails new Ukip leader following election

A COUNCILLOR says new Ukip leader Diane James is a '˜steady pair of hands' after she was elected yesterday.

Ms James, who is the MEP for South East England, which includes south Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, was elected as the party’s first female leader at a Ukip conference in Bournemouth.

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.

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‘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, previously regarded as the favourite to succeed Nigel Farage, won 8,451 votes during the election.

She is a former businesswoman and healthcare professional and had previously been the party’s home affairs spokesperson.