Could Nigel Farage still have a role to play in the future of the UKIP party?

Nigel Farage.
Nigel Farage.
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A Ukip leadership hopeful wants to deploy “big beast” Nigel Farage to aid the party’s cause as he “puts the fear of God” into other politicians.

Diane James said she hopes to hold talks with the outgoing Ukip leader to decide how he will contribute in future, insisting he still has a role to play.

MEP Ms James is among five candidates vying to replace Mr Farage, who resigned shortly after tasting victory during June’s EU referendum.

But Mr Farage has not ruled out returning as leader if Brexit is not delivered.

He has quit and returned once before, in the space of a few days, following the 2015 general election.

Frontrunner Ms James told Murnaghan on Sky News: “Nigel has stood down, he’s given his reasons. I don’t intend being either Nigel-like or Nigel-lite, I’ve made that abundantly clear.

“Nigel has a role still to play in the future of Ukip.

“I’m hoping when I have the opportunity to discuss with him, and I want to have that discussion in the next few days, that we’ll be able to realise what sort of contribution he can make to the party in the coming months and certainly year, if not further into the future.

“But he’s the one person that really puts the fear of God, and I don’t mean to blaspheme for any moment, into some of the other politicians.

“The fact is that, for instance, the Lib Dems have had to go back to Nick Clegg to actually fight their aspect in terms of EU membership - and Nigel really, really did carpet Nick Clegg in those debates.

“So if we’re going to put big beasts up, I’m more than happy to deploy Nigel as long as he’s willing to do so.”

The winner of Ukip’s leadership contest is due to be announced at the party’s annual conference in Bournemouth on September 15.

Rachel Reeves, Leeds West MP and former junior chess champion, during her visit toWhingate Primary School with Grand Master Malcolm Pein, Chief Executive of CSC, to support of Chess in Schools and Communities.
Picture shows Malcolm Pein and Rachel Reeves taking part in a simul against 16 children.
Rachel will joined children of the school in a chess lesson and give a simultaneous exhibition, playing the best players from the school.
 Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) is a UK charity whose mission is to improve childrens educational outcomes and social development by introducing them to the game of chess.
16 November 2017.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Founded in 2009, CSC now teaches in over 300 schools and supports 500 more nationwide including 13 in Leeds, teaching around 1000 children each week how to play the game in classroom lessons and after-school clubs.

Chess ace Leeds MP drops into school for eight games at once