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5 May, 2017 11:08

Ex-UKIP donor Arron Banks blames leader Nuttall for ‘car crash’ disaster in local elections

Ex-UKIP donor Arron Banks blames leader Nuttall for ‘car crash’ disaster in local elections

Former UK Independence Party (UKIP) donor Arron Banks has slammed Paul Nuttall’s leadership following the party’s disastrous results in local council elections.

The millionaire said that while former UKIP leader Nigel Farage headed the party with “skill,” Nuttall is the reason for losing all but one seat in Thursday’s elections.

“The current leadership has crashed the car, at the first bend of the race, into the crowd, killing the driver and spectators,” Banks said in a statement as the results of local elections emerged.

“As one of the Leave.EU team said to me: a strategic bullet to the back of the head. It’s a sorry state of affairs.”

Banks claimed Farage had been a “skilled driver” who would take chances.

“Today’s local election results show that. If we use the analogy of UKIP as a racing car, Nigel was a skilled driver who drove the car around the track faster and faster, knowing when to take risks, delighting the audience.”

Nuttall’s right-wing party lost almost all their seats to the Tory and Liberal Democrat party.

It also failed to win support in the Brexit heartlands of Lincolnshire, Hampshire, and Essex – key battlegrounds for UKIP in next month’s general election.

The Brexit championing party did, however, manage to steal a seat from Labour in Lancashire.

Douglas Carswell, the former MP representing Ukip, said he is "delighted" about the results.

The insurance millionaire said Tory-leaning UKIP voters were deterred from voting for the party because its electoral campaign focuses on Muslim immigration in the UK.

Although admitting there is a substantial “Islamic problem” in the country, Banks pointed out that the next general election, due to take place on June 8, is more of a “second referendum on Brexit” than a “normal” election.

“Within a day of announcing their new policy, UKIP’s poll rating dropped from 11 to 6 percent as Tory-leaning UKIP voters rightly concluded this is about delivering Brexit and the other issues just don’t matter in this election.

Following the local election results, UKIP’s share of the national vote could now plunge to three percent, down from 22 percent in the same contests in 2013, according to election expert, University of Plymouth Professor Michael Thrasher.

Commenting on the party’s performance in the latest polls, UKIP leader Paul Nuttall said his party had been a “victim of its own success,” and blamed the Tories’ recent tougher attitude towards the EU

“Mrs May’s public dispute with the EU in recent days – which led to her speaking about standing up to Brussels in an eve-of-poll statement in Downing Street – was particularly fortuitously timed for the Conservatives,” he said, according to the Telegraph.

But he added that the plight to leave the EU goes beyond any other interest and said: "If the price of Britain leaving the EU is a Tory advance after taking up this patriotic cause, then it is a price UKIP is prepared to pay.

“We are the victims of our own success and now we pick ourselves up and go on to further success in the future.”