UKIP leader Nuttall to stand in election

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Paul NuttallImage source, PA

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall has confirmed he will stand as a candidate at the general election.

He told LBC Radio he would announce which constituency he was contesting within the next 48 hours.

Mr Nuttall, who sits in the European Parliament, had previously suggested he might not stand in 8 June's contest, saying UKIP leaders had done well outside the Commons.

He failed to beat Labour at a by-election in Stoke-on-Trent last month.

At a UKIP campaign event on Monday, he repeatedly refused to say whether he would stand in the general election.

But on Thursday he told LBC: "As the leader of the party, I will be, obviously, leading the party into battle as I have done many times in the past".

He said he would stand in a seat where "we think we can give it a good go".

He defined success for UKIP as improving on the single seat the party had won in 2015 - Douglas Carswell's victory in Clacton.

Stressing the need to "get people over the line this time", he said: "The one thing that we learned from 2015 is that vote share, although it is nice to get four million votes and 13% was wonderful, there is no prize for second place in the first-past-the-post system.

"I would like us to get more MPs elected than we got in 2015. I think it's doable. I think what we have got to do is target our resources sensibly, that means both in resources and in terms of manpower."

Mr Nuttall had previously said he did not want to be tied to one constituency during the general election campaign, as happened to his predecessor, Nigel Farage, in 2015 in Thanet, where he failed to unseat the Conservatives.