YORKSHIRE MEP Mike Hookem has been appointed the UK Independence Party’s spokesman on fishing issues.
Mr Hookem’s appointment was one of a string announced as new Ukip leader Paul Nuttall began to shape his team.
It represents a significant vote of confidence in Mr Hookem, coming just weeks after he was involved in a confrontation with then fellow MEP Steven Woolfe at the European Parliament who later collapsed.
Mr Woolfe subsequently quit the party.
Mr Hookem, previously Ukip’s defence spokesman, said: “Brexit is our opportunity to reclaim our seas and revitalise an industry currently on its knees.
“That is why I am excited UKIP’s new leader Paul Nuttall has appointed me as the Party’s Fisheries Spokesman.
“I intend to be at the vanguard of making the fishing industry an acid test of Brexit and seeing if the political establishment is serious about our leaving the EU.
“I also intend to put forward plans to rebuild a new grassroots base for the UK’s fishing industry and proposals to bring fairness and equality into a system that has long been corrupted by the EU.”
Mr Hookem, a former serviceman, will retain his role speaking on veterans issues.
Mr Nuttall, a North West MP and deputy party leader under Nigel Farage, secured the Ukip leadership on Monday with more than 60 per cent of the vote.
He said: “Mike is exceptionally patriotic and shares my outrage at the way EU fishing quotas have decimated communities across the country.
“This is a cause I know he cares a great deal about, and I am certain he will do a great job.”