Obviously, we’re all incredibly disappointed, but given the obvious character assassination by the mainstream media on Paul Nuttall and lack of reporting around Gareth Snell’s misogynistic comments, I can’t say I’m all that surprised.

It’s also no secret that the Tories, fearing the prospect of another UKIP MP, worked around the clock to syphon votes back from UKIP in order to keep Labour in power, as they’re arguably less of a threat to them than we are.

That said, being a Labour stronghold, Stoke-on-Trent Central was always going to be a difficult seat to win and was ranked 72nd on our list of target seats during the 2015 general election. Stoke-on-Trent Central has been held by Labour since the constituency was created back in 1950 and quite frankly it shows. Stoke-on-Trent has been in a state of constant economic decline.  According to research published last year by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Stoke-on-Trent was revealed to be among the twelve most economically-struggling places in the UK. The constituency is in much need of economic rejuvenation but the only way to do that was to vote for change, but unfortunately the constituents voted for business as usual. Regardless, I wish the people of Stoke-on-Trent Central all the very best, over the next few coming years.

What I would like to say, is that I am incredibly proud of all our activists who went out in all kinds of weather, especially those hardy activists who went out on polling day, to increase our vote share since the last general election. They all worked ever so hard and for that, I’m very grateful.

As for our leader Paul Nuttall, he’s a very experienced and dedicated politician with a voting record that far outweighs the rest of the establishment party leaders, despite Paul having to travel to an entirely different country to vote. It’s a shame he didn’t win Stoke but we’ll almost certainly get plenty more chances in the future. Getting to where we are now, and becoming arguably the most influential party in British politics, was never going to be without its challenges. Like always, UKIP will persevere.