Nigel Farage to stand down as head of Ukip
Nigel Farage has resigned as Ukip leader.
It follows the EU referendum vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.
Mr Farage, 52, has had two stints as leader of the Eurosceptic party since 2006, and announced he was quitting the post after failing to win a Commons seat in the 2015 general election, only to change his mind days later.
In a speech in London setting out Ukip's strategy for the post-referendum period, Mr Farage said: "During the referendum campaign, I said I want my country back. What I'm saying today is I want my life back, and it begins right now."
Mr Farage said his political career since first standing for Ukip in the Eastleigh by-election of 1994 had been "a long journey, not at every stage of the way an easy one, although most of it, I have to say, has been tremendous fun".
"Tough those it has been at times it has definitely all been worth it.
"I have never been and never wanted to be a career politican.
“I now feel that I’ve done my bit, that I couldn't possibly achieve more than what we managed to get in the EU Referendum.
"And I should now stand aside as Ukip leader,” he said.
Mr Farage said: "I have decided to stand aside as leader of Ukip. The victory for the Leave side in the referendum means that my political ambition has been achieved. I came into this business because I wanted us to a self-governing nation, not to become a career politician.
“Ukip is in a good position and will continue, with my full support to attract a significant vote. Whilst we will now leave the European Union the terms of our withdrawal are unclear. If there is too much backsliding by the Government and with the Labour Party detached from many of its voters then Ukip’s best days may yet to come."
Mr Farage said he would not change his mind about quitting as he did in 2015.
He added: "I won’t be changing my mind again, I assure you”.
Mr Farage said he would not comment on who should succeed him.
"May the best man or the best woman win", he said.
Commenting on the race for Prime Minister Mr Farage said "we need a Brexit prime minister."
He said: "We have to have a Brexit prime minister".
But said he would not "damn any one of them by offering my support at this time".
"Any regrets no, we voted to leave the European union - hooray."
He added: "I got into politics to achieve something and I think we achieved it."
More to follow
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