‘Farage grip on power will hinder Ukip’

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The UK Independence Party will fail to achieve its potential because leader Nigel Farage refuses to loosen his grip on power, its former chief executive has said.

Will Gilpin, who quit earlier this week after eight months in the job, has said Mr Farage viewed the party as “being about him” and claimed he was blocked from making changes that would have made the leadership more accountable to members.

Ukip’s failure to adopt a more professional management system means it will remain “a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs having a good time”, he warned.

“The thing I am most shocked by is that Nigel does his own thing without the party knowing where he is or what he is doing,” he told has told a national newspaper.

“Nigel is a great orator and a useful man for the party, but you have to use him in the scope of the wider organisation, rather than thinking ‘It’s all about Nigel’.

“Nigel would see the party as being about him. The party is structured like a flying wedge, pushing Nigel forward.”

Mr Gilpin, a former RAF pilot tasked with making Ukip look more professional, is said to have devised a plan for election campaigning, training for staff and candidates, and structures for developing policies.

Mr Gilpin warned that without internal reforms Ukip would struggle in the 2015 general election and would not win as many seats as they could.