UKIP: race hots up to choose the next leader

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By Catherine Hardy  with Guardian, BBC
UKIP: race hots up to choose the next leader

Two more candidates have announced plans to stand as next leader of the UK Independence Party (Ukip).

A third is already in the running.

Suzanne Evans

Suzanne Evans has announced she will run for the leadership of the party and is hoping to make it “less toxic”.

Paul Nuttall

Paul Nuttall has also thrown his hat into the ring to join those hoping to be the party’s next leader.

The party’s former deputy leader says he has huge support among both the grass roots and the party elite.

Raheem Kassan

Ukip’s most high-profile donor has already backed a former aide of Nigel Farage for the party leadership.

Insurance tycoon Arron Banks said in a tweet that he would be supporting Raheem Kassan.

The race is “wide open”

The current leadership contest was triggered when Diane James recently quit as leader after only 18 days in the role.

Former leader Nigel Farage is currently back in charge as interim leader until the new one is chosen.

The race is now wide open after frontrunner Steven Woolfe quit in the wake of an altercation with a fellow MEP at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Nominations to replace Diane James close on 31 October.

The new Ukip leader will be announced on 28 November.