UK Politics

Douglas Carswell expands Nigel Farage 'break' comments

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Media captionCarswell: "I think that it's important that as leader, he takes a break"

Nigel Farage should take a break "as leader" of UKIP but not a break from being leader, the party's only MP says.

Douglas Carswell also told the BBC's Sunday Politics that the party needed to ensure it got the "tone" right in order to attract more voters.

It comes after Mr Carswell said in an article in the Times on Saturday that Mr Farage "needs to take a break now".

A bitter internal row has developed within UKIP after Mr Farage's resignation was rejected by the party.

Mr Carswell said: "I'm suggesting he takes a break as leader. I'm not suggesting he takes a break from being leader.

"Clearly the national executive has the authority, they're the ruling body.

"I'm told that they made a decision. I'm told it was a procedurally correct decision, he is the leader but I think it's important that as leader he takes a break and I think it's important that we work out how these complex questions are answered by a team.

"No one person has all the answers. I'm particularly concerned about tone, making sure we get a tone that ensures that the 27 million people who didn't vote for UKIP last week may be persuaded to vote for us in future."

Critics challenged

The party has been beset by wrangling since Mr Farage agreed to stay on as leader, days after standing down after failing to get elected in Thanet South.

He had pledged before the general election that he would quit the post if he failed to get elected to Parliament.

Senior aide Matthew Richardson has left the party, following claims from MEP Patrick O'Flynn that Mr Farage had fallen under the influence of "inexperienced" advisers.

UKIP has also confirmed the departure of Mr Farage's chief of staff Raheem Kassam.

Mr Farage ruled out quitting as leader on BBC's Question Time on Thursday, saying he had "phenomenal" support, and has challenged his critics to decide whether they want to stay in the party.

In his article, Mr Carswell had said that "knowing how difficult it is to lead a party makes me admire Nigel Farage all the more".

"I know that I never could," he added, stressing that he would find it "impossible to simultaneously lead UKIP, be the voice of the party in the Commons, represent my Clacton constituents and at the same time be a husband and a dad".

However, he said that "even leaders need to take a break", adding: "Nigel needs to take a break now."

UKIP got nearly four million votes at the election, but returned only one MP - former Conservative Mr Carswell in the Clacton constituency.

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