Britain’s eurosceptic UKIP names new party leader

LONDON (Reuters) – Britains eurosceptic United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) named a new leader on Saturday as it seeks to draw a line under recent turmoil.

UKIP Brexit spokesman Gerard Batten speaks during a news conference in Stoke on Trent, February 13, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Staples

UKIP was influential under former leader Nigel Farage in bringing about a referendum on Britains membership of the European Union in 2016, but has struggled to maintain its relevance since the country voted to leave the bloc.

UKIP said the appointment of Gerard Batten as leader was uncontested. Batten, a member of the European Parliament for London and the partys former Brexit spokesman, had been serving as interim leader.

In February, party members voted to remove Henry Bolton as leader after less than five months in charge after a scandal about racist comments made by his lover. Bolton had been UKIPs fourth leader in a year.

Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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