Britain's anti-EU party consumed by infighting after election setback

Britain's anti-EU party consumed by infighting after election setback

LONDON - Britain's anti-EU UK Independence Party was consumed by infighting on Thursday after winning just one seat in a national election last week with the party's campaign chief accusing its leader of making it look like a "personality cult."

UKIP, which wants Britain to leave the European Union and for immigration to be sharply curbed, attracted 12.6 per cent of the vote and almost 3.9 million votes. But a winner-takes-all electoral system means it won just one of 650 seats.

Nigel Farage, the party's leader, had promised to quit if he failed to win a seat. Instead, he returned to the leadership after just three days, saying the party had persuaded him to do so despite his vote loss.

He has since become embroiled in a public row with the party's only lawmaker over how much public money the party should take after its election performance.

"What's happened ... has certainly laid us open to the charge that this looks like an absolutist monarchy or a personality cult," Patrick O'Flynn, the party's campaign chief, told The Times newspaper. "I don't think that even Nigel would say it's been the most glorious chapter of his leadership."

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