Peter Whittle is being reported as having dropped out of the race for the leadership of UKIP.

Guido Fawkes reports:

Peter Whittle has pulled out of the UKIP leadership race and endorsed Paul Nuttall: To meet the new challenges which the future holds, UKIP needs a leader who knows the party inside out and who can command the loyalty of members across the board. So after a great deal of thought, I have decided to withdraw from the leadership contest and recommend wholeheartedly that members vote for Paul Nuttall.

“I would like to thank those members and supporters who planned to support me, but I have become convinced that the sheer breadth of Paul’s political experience, his dedication to the values of the party and the obvious affection in which he is held by members make him the person who is best placed to take us forward.”

The Telegraph says:

Peter Whittle has pulled out of Ukip’s leadership race because he says the Party needs a leader who can “command the loyalty of members across the board.”

Announcing his resignation, the MEP called on voters to elect Paul Nuttall to take over from Nigel Farage.

His decision leaves three runners in the contest – former deputy leader Mr Nuttall, former deputy chairwoman Suzanne Evans, and Wales-based ex-soldier John Rees-Evans.

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