The Party That Propelled The UK Toward Brexit Has A New Leader

A former soldier and police officer, Henry Bolton won UKIP's leadership contest with 30 percent of the vote.
Posted at 7:04 PM, Sep 29, 2017

The U.K. Independence Party has struggled to stay together after its Brexit victory. Now, it's got a new leader to figure out the party's future.

Henry Bolton, a former soldier and police officer, won UKIP's seven-person leadership election with 30 percent of the vote. He's the party's third new leader in over a year

Bolton was reportedly a member of the centrist Liberal Democrat party before joining UKIP, and some speculate his leadership could distance UKIP from hard-line anti-Islamic rhetoric. Bolton earlier warned UKIP could become the "U.K. Nazi party" if a different candidate were elected.

That comment was likely aimed at anti-Muslim candidate Anne Marie Waters, who came in second with 21 percent of the vote. Some members of UKIP threatened to leave the party if Waters got elected.

UKIP's popularity helped usher in the Brexit referendum, but the party has struggled to maintain control of its power after the vote. This year, the party lost all of the 145 local seats it was defending and won just 1.8 percent of the vote in the general election.

Going forward, Bolton says the party will be focused on unification, gaining back control of British politics and pushing its primary platform.

"Brexit is our core task," Bolton announced.