Voters kick Ukip out of 146 seats and its eastern heartland

The results prompted the party's former donor Arron Banks - who is no longer a party member - to say it was "finished as an electoral force" under its current leadership.

Mr Farage told ITV's Peston On Sunday that Mr Carswell was a "rather untrustworthy figure, which is why the Conservatives wouldn't have him back at the election".

Ukip leader Paul Nuttall has insisted the party is still "on the pitch" despite disastrous local election results which saw them shed more than 100 councillors and win only one seat. "But we blew it", he said.

"The future of Ukip is very bright indeed", Nuttall said, adding that Ukip could grow even bigger than before.

Many are already loudly proclaiming the death of Ukip.

Unless there is a dramatic change in circumstances over the next few weeks Theresa May knows there is every likelihood she will be swept back to power with an enhanced majority.

Farage praised May for her accusation last week that the European commission was seeking to meddle in the general election, but said he still doubted her commitment to Brexit.

He said "cosmic forces beyond the control of any individual" were to blame and it was "certainly" not Mr Nuttall's fault: "I think our prospects in the future will be very rosy because I don't believe the Tories will deliver on numerous promises they are now making". "I'm thrilled. I thought bashing bureaucrats was purely my domain". "It all looks and sounds fantastic but we have career politician whose record of delivery in the past has been poor, so lets see".

Many party supporters had been in touch when the election was called to say "this time we have to support Theresa May" to secure Brexit, he said. I think she'll start to barter things away.

Mr Carswell and Mr Farage have always been at daggers-drawn, with the former Ukip leader accusing the party's first elected MP of working to undermine it.

The far right party suffered a wipe-out overnight after losing 30 seats when huge segments of its support switched to the Conservative Party. "It's also hard because when you follow on from someone - and I was a dominant, some of my critics would say domineering leader of UKIP - it's always hard to step into someone else's shoes - he's doing fine".

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