Nigel Farage has resigned the leadership of the UK Independence Party two weeks after being a prominent face of the successful ‘Leave’ campaign.
“I now feel that I have done my bit, that I couldn’t possibly achieve more,” Mr Farage announced on Sky News (UK) on Monday.
“I came into this struggle from business because I believed that this nation should be self-governing.
“I have never been — and I have never wanted to be — a career politician. My aim in being in politics was to get Britain out of the European Union.”
The resignation of the former commodities trader arguably adds to the country’s chaotic politics. But it could also give UKIP an opportunity to select a less-polarising figure.
Both of Britain’s two main political parties are in disarray following the vote to leave the EU, with the ruling Conservatives seeking a replacement for Prime Minister David Cameron and lawmakers from the main opposition Labour Party voting to withdraw confidence in leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The acrimonious leadership battles in the main political parties have added to uncertainty at a time when Britain is embarking on its biggest constitutional change since the dissolution of its empire in the decades after World War II.
The government, which failed to convince voters that a Leave vote would cause economic harm, is now racing to reduce the damage.
George Osborne, the finance minister, has abandoned his target of balancing the budget within four years and floated the idea over the weekend of a quick cut in corporate tax to 15 per cent from 20 per cent. The opposition Labour Party accused him of trying to turn Britain into an offshore tax haven.
This week the Conservatives will start the process of whittling down the candidates to succeed Cameron, who has said he would leave it to his successor to withdraw from the EU.
Theresa May, a party stalwart who has run the law-and-order portfolio in the cabinet for six years, is the favourite to succeed Cameron despite having campaigned to remain in the EU.
Four other candidates include Justice Secretary Michael Gove, a Leave campaigner who caused political drama last week by turning against his ally, former London mayor Boris Johnson, driving him from the race.
– with Jackson Stiles and AAP