Ramsey councillor, Lisa Duffy, has said she is “strongly considering” entering the race to become the next leader of UKIP.
Expecting to announce her decision by the end of the week, Mrs Duffy said “we don’t need a Nigel Farage mark two” and more work needs to be done
to make sure “grass roots” are valued.
The mother-of-six has been a councillor since 2011, worked as UKIP Party director for six years, and is currently chief of staff to MEP Patrick O’Flynn.
If she launches a leadership bid, she hopes to usher in a “new era” for the party, starting with forming a strong team behind her.
“There isn’t a second Nigel Farage and there never will be, so there needs to be a very different approach and we need to make sure we manage through a team,” she told The Hunts Post.
“Nigel was a very interesting and very challenging man to work for, but he wasn’t particularly good at delivering through others. He’s very good at delivering, but not necessarily through a team. I see the next leader has to deliver through a team.
“I’d be putting a shadow cabinet together so people can see it’s more than just a one-man band. It never was, but Nigel was the face. Now it’s about the face with the strong team behind.”
Mrs Duffy also touched on the nature of the party’s campaigns, in light of MP Douglas Carswell’s assessment that there needs to be a change in its “tone and style”.
“In terms of tone, he is absolutely right,” she said.
“We have been the party which forced the other political parties to talk about immigration.
“We’ve won that argument and continued that fight through Brexit, but now it’s about making sure families and working class people seriously understand that we are their party – the party that Labour has left behind.
“It is about toning it down and proving the other policies we’ve got actually suit our country right now, tough on law and order and thinking about how we’re going to fund looking after people in their old age, and mental health services being seriously
Mrs Duffy, who was also the country’s first UKIP mayor, says “grass roots” need to be remembered – the “real people” who “put their life and soul into making UKIP what it is today”.
“No leader should ever forget who puts them there,” she explained.
“While we had a big job to do in winning the referendum, we have a big job to do in making sure our grass roots are valued and I don’t think that’s always remembered.
“But I will always remember the person that gives me their last three pounds because they think it’s going to make the difference, the person trooping streets every day.
“But I’m very clear – it’s a team, not an I. While I’m prepared to put my head up and be counted, it can’t be delivered without the right team behind you.”
Nominations for party leadership close at the end of this month, with the result announced on September 15.