UKIP leader Paul Nuttall

Ukip leader Paul Nuttall "probably will" stand in the June 8 General Election, according to his deputy.

But former leader Nigel Farage, who has said Mr Nuttall has six weeks to prove himself in the job, has remained silent fuelling speculation within the party that he does not support the policies.

But he refused to confirm which seat he would contest, saying that would be announced in the next 48 hours.

Mr Nuttall has sparked widespread controversy with his proposal to outlaw the full-face veil worn by some Muslim women, as well as banning sharia law and forcing girls at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) to face regular medical checks.

UKIP has been launguishing in most opinion polls, amid fears many of its voters from 2015 have defected to the Tories.

His campaign to be elected MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central was marred by his false claim that he lost close friends in the Hillsborough disaster.

Mr Nuttall did not say whether he would be running when asked several times by journalists after Ukip's integration policy launch in Westminster.

He added: 'Ukip will lead on these and as I said in our press conference I feel as if we are a decade ahead of our time - a bit like we were a decade ahead of our time on getting out of the European Union, and on mass immigration.

He added: "We have to drill down in these seats".

Speaking to the Express & Star newspaper during a visit to the West Midlands this week, Nuttall likened the media treatment of his party and its policies to that of the leader of the Indian-independence movement.

Earlier, Mr Whittle had told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We have talked about these issues in Ukip for many years - 2010 we actually had this in our manifesto, that we should ban face coverings - not, for example the headscarf, not those sorts of things at all, just purely the face covering, because we believe that is a literal barrier to integration in our society".

  • Leroy Wright