Leader of U.K. Independence Party bowing out 18 days after election

LONDON. The new leader of the U.K. Independence Party announced Tuesday that she is leaving the post before her leadership regime even begins.

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The newly-elected leader of the U.K. Independence Party, Diane James, announced Tuesday that she is leaving the post after just 18 days — even though she said she never formalized her acceptance of it. James cited professional and personal reasons for her decision to rescind the leadership reins of the party. File Photo by Hugo Philpott | License Photo

Diane James said she is leaving the post because she isn’t confident that she can actually realize the changes she envisions.

“It has become clear I do not have sufficient authority, nor the full support of MEP colleagues and party officers to implement the changes I believe are necessary and upon which I based my campaign,” she said Tuesday.

James was elected to the leadership post Sept. 16 to succeed Nigel Farage, who departed in the wake of the controversial referendum vote that spurred Great Britain to leave the European Union.

However, James told the Times newspaper that she won’t be “formalizing” her succession to Farage. She also cited personal reasons for her decision to resign, The Guardian reported.

The Guardian reported that a source said James was also upset over being spit on by a constituent at a London metro station recently.

Although she has technically been in the post for 18 days, James indicated that she never made the move official — meaning whoever takes over the party from her will be the official successor to Farage.

It is unclear exactly who will now seek UKIP leadership but Raheem Kassam, Farage’s former chief of staff, said he will return to run for the post. Farage himself, though, reportedly said he will not seek to regain his old post.

By Doug G. Ware