Nigel Farage will not be in the running to be the next leader of UKIP.

Speaking about his decision, Farage said he became frustrated with the inner, decision-making core of UKIP and felt he was routinely outvoted on important issues.

He said, with a heavy heart, that he could not take on a leadership role in the full knowledge that he would be hamstrung by “unqualified” elements within the party.

We built Ukip from the grassroots. There were no national figures and very little money in the early days. Over years, we built a branch structure across the UK and an army of volunteers. In line with this, we devised a constitution that put power in the hands of the activists. Ukip is run by an elected NEC. The last set of elections for this body saw 93 candidates vying for just six places.

Most of those elected are enthusiastic volunteers, are all unpaid and all care about the cause. But few have any idea about campaigning, media or raising money. As Ukip grew from a tiny party to winning the European elections of 2014, I found myself increasingly frustrated with this governing body. Time and again I was outvoted on important decisions and could not take the party in the direction I wanted.

The thought of going back to a job I may not be allowed to do, if, again, I’m held back by totally unqualified people is not something I’m prepared to contemplate. I hope the new leader takes on the battle for major constitutional change or the party will return to being an amateur shambles.

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