My fellow UKIP members,
As you know the NEC appointed me as the Interim Leader after the Extraordinary General Meeting on 17th February.
I volunteered for this position purely and simply because I thought that I can offer the stability necessary for the Party after the difficult period we have been through.
For those of you who may not know me: I was a founder member of the Party in 1993; I was first elected as the UKIP MEP for London in 2004; and over the years I have served as a spokesman on Security and Defence, Immigration, Law and Order, and since November 2016 I have served as the UKIP Brexit Spokesman.
My immediate priorities are to stabilise the Party, to plan for the local elections in early May, to raise funds, and to recruit new members, and of course to make Brexit happen!
Being UKIP’s leader is probably the most difficult job in UK politics, and the events of the last few weeks have made it that much more difficult.
But we have to succeed in restoring UKIP’s fortunes, we are the only real opposition to the political establishment who would like nothing better than to overturn the result of the Referendum, or at least to negotiate an EU Withdrawal Agreement whereby we leave in name but not in reality.
There are also a whole range of other policies where UKIP can represent the interests of ordinary British people.
Since last Saturday afternoon I have received hundreds of messages from well wishers from within the Party and outside. This has greatly encouraged me for the busy weeks and months that lie ahead.
UKIP is only as strong as its members. UKIP relies upon its ordinary members and activists and it is nothing without them.
Please do all you can to continue to support our great Party.
Gerard Batten MEP
UKIP Interim Leader