Henry Bolton has been elected as the UK Independence Party’s new leader.
The little-known former Army officer beat off competition from six others, including Anne Marie Waters, an anti-Islam candidate whose prospect of election was the subject of huge internal division.
He becomes UKIP’s fifth leader in 11 months.
In his victory speech, Mr Bolton said he wanted the UK to become a “prosperous nation” and one that was “proud to be called British”.
He added: “While Brexit is our core task, that greater goal, which is ongoing beyond the time that we leave the EU, that is our core purpose.”
Former leader Nigel Farage declared after the result at UKIP’s autumn conference in Torquay:
Arron Banks, a millionaire ex-donor who used to bankroll the party, also welcomed Mr Bolton’s election, commenting:
Ms Waters’ supporters were said to be “positively mutinous” after the result was declared.
But Mr Bolton told Sky News: “Whether they want to stay or leave, that’s up to them.”
He warned earlier in September that UKIP was in danger of becoming the “UK Nazi Party” if it picked the wrong leader, appearing to refer to Ms Waters.
Asked after his election on Friday if he supported banning the burka, Mr Bolton said: “There is a security issue with face covering.”
12 months of UKIP leaders
:: Diane James, September – October 2016
:: Nigel Farage, October – November 2016
:: Paul Nuttall, November 2016 – June 2017
:: Steve Crowther, June – September 2017
:: Henry Bolton, September 2017 – present
Mr Bolton is a former Liberal Democrat, who stood against the now Chancellor Philip Hammond in Weybridge and Runnymede in 2005.
He joined UKIP in 2014 and works full-time as a security consultant.
The 54-year-old used to work for the UN and the EU in common defence and security policy roles.
UKIP 2017 leadership election results
:: Henry Bolton – 3,874 votes (29.9%)
:: Anne Marie Waters – 2,755 votes (21.3%)
:: David Kurten – 2,201 votes (17.0%)
:: John Rees-Evans – 2,021 votes (15.6%)
:: Peter Whittle – 1,413 votes (10.9%)
:: Jane Collins – 566 votes (4.4%)
:: Aidan Powlesland – 85 votes (0.65%)