Nigel Farage has stepped down as leader of UKIP and Peter Whittle, the UKIP London Assembly Member, claims he has been the "most influential politician we've had" for 25 years.
Farage announced this morning that his "political ambition has been achieved," and he did not want "to become a career politician." Whittle, the candidate for London Mayor earlier this year, revealed Farage inspired him to join UKIP.
"My initial reaction and genuine personal one is sadness, because this was a man who essentially inspired my to join UKIP three and a half years ago," he told Julia Hartley-Brewer.
"I think he's probably the most courageous politician this country's had in the past 25 years and I also think without question that even if you don't agree with Nigel or whatever you voted in the referendum, without question the most influential politician that we've had to.
"I think we live in an era where people want conviction politicians."
He added that the party has become more popular with voters.
"We're in London here and we tend to forget, we think the whole world revolves around London, and I say that as a Londoner, and of course there's been a huge movement in the country outside.
"Looking into the future, particularly if you see what's happening to the Labour Party, there is a very strong chance that by the time we get to the election in 2020 UKIP could indeed become the main opposition, and I think it's solely down to Nigel."
Whittle believes leaving the EU will go well.
"It can't go horribly wrong because the fact is there's been a democratic vote, the biggest mandate for anything that's ever been voted on in this country.
"We do need people there doing the deal for us who are Brexiteers, people who believe and uphold the vote that this country made last week. We can't have people backing away."