Diane James has been elected as the new leader of the UK Independence Party.
Ms James had been regarded as the favourite to succeed Nigel Farage, who quit as leader following the UK’s vote to leave the EU.
The MEP for South East England won with 8,451 votes. Her nearest rival, Lisa Duffy, received 4,591.
Speaking about Brexit, Ms James warned “we have only just won a heat” in a “28-member state Olympic competition to leave the European Union”.
“The threats to the referendum outcome are increasing by the day,” she said, adding she would reject “Brexit-lite”.
To applause at the UKIP conference, she said: “Yes to a 100% European Union exit. Can I be any clearer? Yes to a sovereign independent UK. Yes to a UK free to make trade deals with whoever and whenever we want and yes to an immigration policy that allows entry regardless of origin to those with the skills and the expertise and the social values that this country wants.”
She said she was “not Nigel-lite” and would not pretend to be so but would be “stepping into his leadership shoes” to try to continue his political success.
“I believe in UKIP’s values of liberty, common sense, democracy and pragmatic approaches to the challenges this country faces.”
She said she might use different language and be less frank than Mr Farage but she would be honest and “uphold all the beliefs and values that this party stands for.