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Jonathan Arnott
UK News

Christian enters UKIP leadership contest

Jonathan Arnott, the MEP for the North East of England, also said he wants to make the right choices at a time when the world seems to have "almost lost" any sense of morality.

The 35-year-old said: "Christianity to me is something which underpins everything that I do.

"I'm not going to say that I always get everything right; we all do things wrong, we all sin and we all fall short of where we want to be.

"I think it is having that approach to be always thinking about what is right when you do it.

"To make sure that you're putting what is right first is so much more important, particularly in a modern world where all feeling of morality seems to be almost lost or treated as some sort of quaint old-fashioned outdated ideal."

He said his faith will not alienate him from non-Christians, adding: "I don't see as a Christian that it's my job to try to force through politics and my world view on other people but it is a world view that underpins the way that I deal with others within my party and when looking outside to wider communities."

Mr Arnott has been speaking amid a backlash against new party rules which seem set to block better-known figures from standing in the leadership contest.

Fellow Christian and former UKIP spokeswoman Suzanne Evans said it was "ridiculous" of the party's National Executive Committee to insist all candidates had been a member for a minimum of five years.

She said: "I cannot imagine a decision more ridiculous and more likely to bring UKIP into disrepute than one which means people such as Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless, our current and former MPs, and the latter also a Welsh AM, cannot stand, despite the huge dedication they have shown to the party and their current elected positions.

"I hope the new leader will allow members to attend NEC meetings unless confidential information is being discussed; publish the minutes; and set up a 'right of recall' so NEC members are accountable to members.

"At the moment, frankly, by operating in secret; changing the rules as it goes along; and being totally unaccountable, it is behaving like the EU."

Nominations in the UKIP leadership contest close on July 31 before regional hustings are held in August before the vote.

The successor to Nigel Farage is due to be announced on September 15, as will a new deputy leader.

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