Politics

Paul Nuttall quits UKIP over Tommy Robinson role


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PA

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Mr Nuttall succeeded Nigel Farage as leader of UKIP in 2016

Former UKIP leader Paul Nuttall has quit the party in protest at the decision to appoint Tommy Robinson as an adviser.

Mr Nuttall said he was leaving because the party was being taken in a direction “harmful to Brexit”.

The association with the former English Defence League leader would “appall many moderate Brexit voters,” he said.

Mr Nuttall’s resignation follows that of fellow former leader Nigel Farage, who expressed similar sentiments.

The former history lecturer, from Bootle, Merseyside, said he would continue to work as an MEP for North West England.

He said: “Putting Tommy Robinson front and centre, whilst Brexit is in the process of being betrayed is, in my view, a catastrophic error.

“The party leadership and my MEP colleagues have been aware of my views on this issue for some time.”

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Getty Images

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Tommy Robinson is a former leader of the English Defence League

Mr Nuttall took over from Nigel Farage as leader of UKIP in November 2016.

He was later heavily criticised after admitting claims that he had lost close friends in the Hillsborough disaster were false.

Standing down in June 2017, he said the party was more relevant than ever and would continue to be “the guard dogs of Brexit”.

He also said the party had “lost its way in recent times” and attacked its “clumsy, blundering approach” to tackling female genital mutilation and its “hardline anti-Islam messages”.

Mr Nuttall joined UKIP in 2004 after running for the Conservatives in a council election in Bootle two years earlier.

He became an MEP for North West England in 2009 and served as UKIP deputy leader from 2010.



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