The resignation of Nigel Farage yesterday (Monday) heralds a ‘new era for UKIP’ according to Lincolnshire County Councillor Victoria Ayling.
The party’s councillor for the Spilsby Fen district said that members had initially been surprised at Mr Farage’s announcement.
Mrs Ayling attended the NEC press conference at which Mr Farage said he was resigning.
She said: “It was a bit of a shock to a lot of us, but if you look at it, he’s devoted 20 years of his time to this and now he’s going to have time for his family.”
She said Farage ‘had been a great leader and would have continued to be a great leader had he continued’.
She said he had done what he had set out to do but that UKIP, whoever led it, still had a role to play in pushing for Article 50 (official withdrawal from the European Union) to be invoked.
She said: “UKIP will continue to go from strength to strength.”
She added that the role of UKIP will be to make sure the negotiations get the best deal - particularly with the controversy over whether Freedom of Movement will need to be a part of any deal or not.
However, she criticised David Cameron’s resignation as ‘a way of avoiding a difficult decision for himself’.
She said the party were wary of the April 17, 2017, deadline for invoking Article 50 particularly as a General Election was anticipated to be called - which could delay matters.
The fallout from the EU Referendum has seen a number of prominent figures in the past two weeks announce their resignations - in particular have been the Prime Minister David Cameron who campaigned to remain in the EU and the Conservative MP and former Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who fought to leave the Union.
It has lead to a number of names stepping in to fight to be the next PM and leader of the Conservative Party - including Theresa May, Andrea Leadsom, Stephen Crabb, Michael Gove and Liam Fox.
Labour has also seen it’s party crack, with a number of shadow cabinet resignations and calls for party leader Jeremy Corbyn to resign.