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    Henry Bolton, who has been elected as the new party leader of Britain's UK Independence Party speaks during the UKIP National Conference in Torquay England Friday Sept. 29, 2017

    'I Think Bolton Has Made a Mistake in Not Resigning' – Professor on UKIP Crisis

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    The UK Independence Party's (UKIP) leader Henry Bolton has refused to resign, despite facing large-scale opposition within the party, amid a scandal unfolding around his ex-girlfriend's remarks toward the royal family. Brendan Evans, professor of Politics at the University Of Huddersfield, spoke to Sputnik and gave his views on the future of UKIP.

    Sputnik: Is UKIP obsolete as a political entity following the Brexit vote?

    Brendan Evans: Not entirely. I think there's still some political space if the Conservative government negotiates what is regarded as a fairly soft Brexit, which is not too different from being in the EU. I think then, UKIP could talk about betrayal and find a definite space in which they could build up some support again, so a lot depends on the progress of the negotiations.

    Clearly, they also have to sort out the difficulties of the leadership pretty quickly in order to avail themselves to any opportunity that does occur.

    READ MORE: UKIP Crisis: Farage Says He ‘Chickened Out' of Transforming Party Due to Brexit

    Sputnik: Who could replace Henry Bolton as UKIP leader in the future and did he make a mistake in not resigning?

    Brendan Evans: I think he's put himself in an absurd situation. I don't think he'll have any support at all in UKIP and he seems rather to have lost touch with reality, so I think he's made a mistake in not resigning.

    There are no stars now apart from Nigel Farage. Somebody called Suzanne Evans, who stood previously and was opposed by Nigel Farage, wasn't elected and has ruled herself out.

    She's very creative, very credible, very articulate, very good on television, and comes across as a very rational thinker. She'd be a good candidate, but I don't think she will stand and I think Nigel Farage; who's still an influential voice in the party, would block her.

    READ MORE: UKIP Members to Keep Leaving Party Until Leader Bolton Resigns — Ex-Deputy Head

    Either it's a return by Nigel Farage or Suzanne Evans. Frankly, so many of the others are non-entities that I don't think that there's anybody in the forefront who could take over very convincingly.

    Sputnik: Does Nigel Farage genuinely want to make a UKIP comeback?

    Brendan Evans: He seems to miss the limelight. Before, he resigned once and then un-resigned a little later and it seems as though he's rather lost when he's not strutting the stage, so I don't think I'd rule it out.

    Conceivably he might even form a different political party; it really was a one man band. I think if he formed another party that would probably usurp UKIP's position. I certainly wouldn't rule out him making a comeback. It certainly depends on how he sees the opportunities and whether he's found something else to do with his life, which doesn't seem to be the case.

    The views and opinions expressed by Brendan Evans are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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