UK Politics

Nigel Farage 'should take holiday but stay on as UKIP leader'

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Media captionUKIP deputy chairman Suzanne Evans: "Nobody wants Nigel to go"

Nigel Farage should take a two-week holiday before returning to lead UKIP, its deputy chairman has said.

Mr Farage was a "fantastic leader and a great political communicator", Suzanne Evans told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

But she also said he must "actually solicit feedback" and that the party was not a "one man band".

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

Senior aide Matthew Richardson and Mr Farage's chief of staff, Raheem Kassam, have both since left the party.

Ms Evans insisted no-one in the party "hated each other", but said there had been problems with the advisers around Nigel who had "kept him in their pocket".

'Phenomenal' support

Ms Evans said: "A good leader, particularly of an organisation like UKIP, which has grown phenomenally quickly in a very short period of time, you have to take feedback, you have to actually solicit feedback. And I'm sure that's what we were doing."

The party gained almost four million votes at the election, but returned only one MP - former Conservative Douglas Carswell in the Clacton constituency.

Ms Evans said the party needed to examine why that was the case and also look at why people were not prepared to openly say they voted UKIP - a group Nigel Farage has labelled the "shy kippers".

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

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

In an interview with the Sun on Sunday, Mr Farage said there was "too much to do right now to vanish but I'll take most of August off and spend some real quality time with my family. After that I'll be back and raring to go".

He added: "I've put 20 years of my life into trying to get a referendum and now is not the time to walk away.

"I've never had more support than I have now and I am not going to be driven out by the bad behaviour of a handful of people."

Meanwhile, Mr Carswell told BBC One's Sunday Politics programme that Mr Farage should take a break "as leader" of UKIP but not a break from being leader,

"No one person has all the answers," he added.

"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."

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