UKIP councillors in Wyre Forest have thrown their full support behind MEP Paul Nuttall in his bid to become the party’s new leader.

Mr Nuttall is one of six candidates vying to replace Diane James who quit earlier this month, just 18 days after winning the ballot to succeed Nigel Farage.

Wyre Forest UKIP branch described Mr Nuttall, who threw his hat in the leadership ring on Sunday’s BBC Daily Politics show, as the leading candidate to take over.

West Midlands MEP Bill Etheridge, who withdrew from the race himself, has also backed UKIP’s deputy chief.

Kidderminster town councillor Michael Wrench said: “Paul is the natural leader for UKIP as we move forward and continue to fight for the millions that have voted and supported UKIP over the years.

“UKIP has a vital role to play in UK politics and Paul has the experience and determination to lead UKIP to future successes.”

“Following the referendum result it is vital UKIP is in a strong position to ensure it’s delivered. Our council group and branch believe Paul is the right person to build on the parties’ successes.

“With his growing level of support other candidates must do the right thing and unite behind him.”

Councillor Martin Stooke added: “Paul has worked tirelessly for the party nationally, but he has always found time to support the Wyre Forest UKIP branch over the years.”

And Councillor John Holden said: “Paul has been loyal to the party and Nigel Farage, it is now the right time for him to lead us into securing Brexit and growing our elected officials across the country.”

The new UKIP leader is set to be named on November 28.