Nigel Farage is “snarling, thin-skinned and aggressive” claims Cambridge UKIP candidate

Olly Hudson 16 May 2015

Patrick O'Flynn who finished fourth in last week's general election race to become Cambridge's next MP has launched a blistering attack on Nigel Farage.

Speaking to The Times, Mr O'Flynn lambasted his party leader as a "snarling, thin-skinned, aggressive" man who risks turning UKIP into a "personality cult."

O'Flynn claimed that the "cheerful, ebullient, cheeky, daring" side to Nigel Farage had, in recent months, given way to a style of leadership that made UKIP look like an "absolute monarchy." O'Flynn laid the blame at the feet of Mr Farage's "agressive" and "inexperienced" team of aides.

Mr O'Flynn continued that the present team of aides had brought a "Tea Party, ultra-aggressive American influence" to UKIP's general election campaign, and called on Mr Farage to "clear out" these people and to adopt "a much more consultative and consensual leadership style."

Tensions have been running high in UKIP since last week's general election result saw the party claim a 12.6% share of national vote yet only a single seat in the House of Commons. 

Nigel Farage had originally suggested that he would be "for the chop" were he to fail in his bid to win the Thanet-South seat, though has subsequently announced he intends to stay on as UKIP leader after the party rejected his resignation letter. 

Patrick O'Flynn is one of UKIP's most high-profile MEPs as well as the party's economic spokesperson. He had widely been tipped as a potential candidate to succeed Farage as leader, despite little realistic hope of winning the Cambridge constituency.

Regarded as being on the 'left' of the party, O'Flynn has, in the past, indicated support for wealth taxes, while joining Daniel Zeichner and Rupert Read in criticising ex-MP for Cambridge, Julian Huppert over his support for the 'bedroom tax' in a number of hustings events leading up to the election.

This has placed him at odds with Nigel Farage's more conservative economic position and has been the source of much internal-party tension in recent years.

After Labour's Daniel Zeichner defeated Julian Huppert by a margin of just 599 votes, he thanked Mr O'Flynn in his victory speech for showing him "that there is such a thing as red UKIP."

A number of known UKIP-supporting students were approached by The Cambridge Student, though none were willing to comment on their ex-candidate's outburst.