UK Politics

MEP Jonathan Arnott quits UKIP leadership contest

Jonathan Arnott, North East UKIP MEP Image copyright PA

UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott says he is withdrawing from the race to be the party's next leader because the best he could hope for would be second place.

Mr Arnott, who represents the North East of England, said there was "no prize for a silver medal".

The 35-year-old had been the first to put himself forward to replace Nigel Farage.

His withdrawal leaves five candidates battling it out with the winner to be announced on 15 September.

They include councillor Lisa Duffy, who vowed to campaign for better mental health care in a campaign speech earlier.

She spoke of her experience with post-natal depression and said she wanted to "pick up the baton" of mental health campaigning from former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.

Ms Duffy - who was endorsed by UKIP MEP for London Gerard Batten - also said Mr Farage would "always want to pull the strings" in the party but that the next leader had to be "somebody very different".

Also running are MEPs Bill Etheridge and Diane James and activists Phillip Broughton and Elizabeth Jones.