UKIP leader Nigel Farage will not stand for the Eastleigh seat left vacant by Chris Huhne.

Mr Farage, who is the MEP for Hampshire has ruled himself out of the running for the seat, following Huhne's guilty plea and subsequent resignation of the seat he has held for almost eight years.

The Lib Dem yesterday admitted perverting the course of justice.

The UKIP leader has long been linked to the constituency, which has been Liberal Democrat since the mid 1990s.

It had been thought that the unpopularity of both the Conservatives - who last won the seat in the 1992 election - and the Liberal Democrats, would give UKIP the chance to win the seat on a protest vote.

However, the UKIP leader has noe said that the party already has "12 good candidates" for Eastleigh and he will not be one of them.

He said: "Whoever is chosen will have my full support, and the support of everyone in the party. We will fight this by-election as hard as we can, and expect to turn what people predict to be a two-way fight into a serious political battle."