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Ukip leader Diane James steps down after just 18 days on job

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Diane James resigned as the leader of the UK Independence Party a mere 18 days after succeeding Nigel Farage, who helped lead the campaign for the UK to leave the European Union.

[NEW YORK] Diane James resigned as the leader of the UK Independence Party a mere 18 days after succeeding Nigel Farage, who helped lead the campaign for the UK to leave the European Union.

In a statement on her account, the 56-year-old lawmaker said Tuesday that since assuming leadership of the anti-immigration party, "it has become clear that I do not have the sufficient authority, nor the full support" among her European parliament colleagues "and party officers to implement changes I believe necessary and upon which I based my campaign."

She added that for "personal and professional reasons" she would be standing down. Ukip Chairman Paul Oakden said in a statement that the decision was "unfortunate" and that he plans to convene an emergency meeting of the party's national executive committee to set in motion the process of picking her replacement.

The Ukip has emerged as a serious political force under Mr Farage, who tapped into a strong anti-establishment mood to drum up support among disillusioned voters angry about the free movement of EU citizens.

The direction of the party, which is competing with Labour for working-class votes, will be in question after the loss of two leaders in three months.

BLOOMBERG