Nigel Farage to step down as leader of UKIP

It comes following Britain's vote to leave the EU

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Ukip leader Nigel Farage announces he is resigning as party leader during a speech at The Emmanuel Centre in London. Image: Stefan Rousseau / PA Wire/Press Association Images

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said he is stepping down as leader of the party in the wake of the referendum to leave the EU.

"My aim in politics was to get Britain out of the European Union," he said.

"That is what we voted for in that referendum two weeks ago, and that is why I now feel that I've done my bit, that I couldn't possibly achieve more.

"And so I feel it's right that I should now stand aside as leader of UKIP."

This is not the first time Mr Farage has resigned as leader. In 2015, he quit the leadership after the UK general election, but reversed that decision just weeks later.

"I won't be changing my mind again - I can promise you."

Mr Farage has declined to endorse a successor but says he expects his replacement will be in place for the party's autumn conference.

He says he intends to stay on as a member of the European Parliament as Britain triggers the process to exit the EU.

"I will watch the renegotiation process in Brussels like a hawk," Mr Farage promised.

UKIP's only MP Douglas Carswell, who has had a rocky relationship with Mr Farage, has tweeted a smiley face in response to the news.

When asked about the tweet, Mr Farage said: "I'm pleased that he's smiling because that's not something I've seen very often from him. So it's obviously very good news."

Farage's fellow UKIP MEP, Nathan Gill, has paid tribute to the outgoing party leader, saying that very few politicians can say they achieved what they set out to do.

"For years politics was boring and unattractive to millions of people around the country and Nigel changed that: he made politics relevant and provided a voice for the people," Mr Gill said.