Ukip supporters: where should the party go from here?

Mr Farage said the comments should not be taken "too seriously" joking that in-fighting in Ukip was now "so bad, we could nearly be the Labour party".

Embattled leader Paul Nuttall broke off from his holiday to ask party chairman Paul Oakden to haul in Mr Carswell for a meeting about the row.

The claims come as millionaire UKIP donor Arron Banks threatens to withdraw funds unless he is made chairman of the party.

But the Brexiteer said: "It seemed very illogical to me at the time that Douglas Carwell opposed our stance on the key issue of immigration, and indeed at times even attempted to sabotage my leadership".

Mr Banks, who recently launched the brash right-wing website Westmonster, said he is going to make a formal complaint about Mr Carswell to Ukip's national executive committee for bringing the party into "disrepute".

"We didn't quite have the nerve to do it".

Carswell has been critical of the tone Farage and his supporters adopt when discussing immigration, and speaking to the Huff Post UK yesterday he argued the legacy of the "shock and awe" tactics used in the 2015 General Election still damaged the party.

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During the email exchange between the MP and UKIP peer Lord Pearson, Mr Carswell allegedly joked Mr Farage should get an OBE for "services to headline writers".

Mr Farage claimed Ukip's only MP wanted to "neutralise" the party when he joined, because he felt it was too "angry" and "nativist".

"Since the general election he has brought nothing to the party at all other than constant division, at times I believe deliberately stirred up to cause maximum damage to the party".

However, hostilities have escalated in recent days in the wake of emails which suggest Mr Carswell frustrated efforts to secure a knighthood for Mr Farage. "It won't take long, it's just me". The time for him to go is now'.

However, a later tweet suggested that Mr Banks was taking his challenge to Mr Carswell seriously and making practical arrangements to prepare an election campaign. You couldn't get on with the Tories, you can't get on with us.

Good, we will have a high street shop in Clacton, professional agent appointed soon and I will be rolling my sleeves up. "Well, go on - go somewhere else".

"If Nuttall doesn't professionalize it and toss out the likes of Douglas Carswell, Suzanne Evans and the rest of the Tory cabal then the party is finished anyway", Banks said.

  • Megan Austin