I am suspending my campaign.

As of today, I am formally suspending my campaign for UKIP leader.

After much consideration, I have decided not to pursue my campaign to be a UKIP leader any further. This was a very difficult decision, and I want to thank everyone who supported me in the process.

It is a decision I have not taken lightly, but following meetings this weekend I realized the path to victory is too narrow. I would encourage my supporters to back Peter Whittle, who I think would make a fantastic leader of the party.

On their own, the following issues would not have caused me to take this decision, but taken together, the following reasons created an impossible route forward for me:

1. The top of the party is treating this as a coronation: I am not satisfied with the integrity of the process, and having put a number of complaints into the party chairman, I was disappointed that incidents whereby Members of the European Parliament are using party databases to effectively campaign against me – ostensibly against the rules – were not challenged.

2. Disgraceful treatment by the media: I am tough and I can take it, but when Times journalists show up at my elderly parents’ house at dusk, intimidating them, I draw the line. Billy Kenber at the Times has a lot to answer for and I will be pursuing a harassment complaint further.

3. Fundraising: While we raised enough for our deposit, and got over 200 assentors to my nomination, we could not raise enough for this to be more than a digital campaign run from SW1, and to not feature at events all around the country would have made me a hypocrite, given how much I criticize the establishment for ignoring the country.

Over the next few weeks I will be providing a statement of accounts for all my donors, and in-keeping with my money pledge on my website, I will be giving them the choice as to what happens with the remainder of the money they donated. I will suggest we either: donate to the Royal British Legion or Help for Heroes, donate to the party, donate to Peter Whittle’s campaign. Those who want refunds are welcome to contact me.

I wish the UK Independence Party and whoever its new leader is all the best in ensuring Brexit happens and in the upcoming electoral tests next year. I remain committed to the causes of the UK Independence Party, but sadly, this campaign, it was a bridge too far for us.

I will be continuing at my job as Editor in Chief of Breitbart London, returning to the United States this week to cover the last leg of the presidential elections.

Kind regards,

Raheem Kassam