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Diane James elected new chief of Britain's anti-EU party

United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) leadership candidate Diane James arrives at the party's annual conference in Bournemouth, Britain, September 16, 2016. Photograph: (Reuters)

WION Bournemouth, United Kingdom Sep 16, 2016, 02.53 PM (IST)

Britain's UK Independence Party on Friday elected deputy chairwoman Diane James as its new leader, replacing Nigel Farage who stepped down in June.

A member of the European parliament, James was announced as the new party head at its annual conference in the coastal town of Bournemouth following a ballot of UKIP's 40,000 members, Reuters reported.

"We are the political change movement of the United Kingdom," James said.

The new party chief has pledged to ensure that the government exits from the European Union resulting in tighter immigration controls and more free trade.

A close ally of Farage at the conference announced joining the ruling Conservative Party, saying that Prime Minister Theresa May had delivered on the key elements of the UKIP manifesto.

The UKIP had won nearly four million votes at a general election in 2015 and played a key role in persuading people to vote for Britain's exit from the EU.

(WION with inputs from Reuters)

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