UKIP leader Diane James is expected to stand down 18 days after she was elected to the post, senior party sources have said.
UKIP has not formally confirmed reports of the resignation but Ms James has told the Times newspaper she “would not be formalising my recent nomination”.
Ms James succeeded Nigel Farage on 16 September after he quit in the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the EU.
The MEP for South East England won with 8,451 votes, ahead of Lisa Duffy.
A former businesswoman and healthcare professional, Ms James saw off four other contenders: Ms Duffy – who received 4,591 votes – Bill Etheridge, Liz Jones and Phillip Broughton.
But the race to replace Mr Farage exposed bitter divisions within the party.
Ukip leader Diane James ‘resigns’ from role
UKIP leader Diane James has resigned the role after just 18 days, it has been reported.
One report suggested that she had been “deeply unhappy for personal reasons about her new role” while another suggested that she had quit because of her husband’s ill health.
Her departure, if confirmed, will raise speculation that her predecessor Nigel Farage could make a comeback. Mr Farage previously resigned before staying on and leading Ukip through the EU referendum campaign.
UKIP leader Diane James ‘resigns as leader’ according to political commentators
BREAKING NEWS: Reports from all across the political spectrum are suggesting that Diane James, Leader of UKIP, may have resigned from her position today.
Mrs James has only been in the role for 18 days but posts on social media are hinting that she has become deeply unhappy, and may have quit for personal reasons
One poster has said her husband’s ill health may have been a factor in her decision.
Ukip leader Diane James quits after three weeks in the job
Ukip was thrown into turmoil last night after Diane James resigned as leader 18 days into the job, saying that she did not have enough authority to reform the party. The South East MEP’s office issued The Times with a statement from Ms James which said that she had decided to step down for “personal and professional…