Ukip has stepped back from picking a notorious anti-Islam activist as its new leader, saving the party from a threatened mass walkout.

Sharia Watch founder Anne Marie Waters lost out to unknown Henry Bolton in the seven-horse race to take over the stricken party.

Ms Waters – whose campaign video proclaimed "Islamic culture does not fit with ours" – had been the narrow favourite to succeed Paul Nuttall, who quit after Ukip's general election disaster.

But the 40-year-old finished second, with 2,785 votes, some distance behind the 3,874 secured by Mr Bolton, under a first-past-the-post system.

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