CLACTON MP Douglas Carswell has called on Ukip leader Nigel Farage to "take a break".

The call comes after Mr Carswell refused to be drawn on whether he was the “one person” agitating for a change of Ukip leadership.

Mr Farage has challenged the person – who he did not name - to make up his mind over his future with Ukip.

The party leader criticised the person for not having the "courage to break cover".

Mr Farage had offered to resign as party leader last week after failing to win a seat at the General Election, but he withdrew the offer after he was asked to stay by the party’s national executive committee.

The move has led to a dispute between senior members and officials.

The Gazette asked the Clacton MP whether he was the agitator Mr Farage was referring to, following which Mr Carswell said that was a question “to ask him”.

But in an opinion column for The Times, Mr Carswell tonight said "inspirational" Mr Farage needs to "take a break".

“It takes a set of rock-solid beliefs and a sense of self-belief to lead a party well," he said.

“I know that I never could. I would find it impossible to simultaneously lead Ukip, be the voice of the party in the Commons, represent my Clacton constituents and at the same time be a husband and a dad.

“Knowing how difficult it is to lead a party makes me admire Nigel Farage all the more."

He added: “On Monday, Ukip’s national executive committee made a decision to reinstate Nigel as party leader. Yet even leaders need to take a break. Nigel needs to take a break now.

“Elections are enormously stressful. The immediate aftermath of one is not the time to take big decisions about the future.”

Mr Carswell also criticised Mr Farage’s comments on HIV during the election campaign as "ill-advised" and said that "every action" the party takes over the next 12 months should be to promote that goal of independence from the EU.

He added: “All of us Ukip supporters should ask one question. Is what I’m doing at this moment making an “out” vote more likely? If it isn’t, stop it and do something else.”

Top Ukip donor Arron Banks, who has given £1million to Ukip, previously warned he would leave the party if Nigel Farage left.

He also called on Mr Carswell, deputy leader Suzanne Evans and MEP Patrick O’Flynn to leave.

Mr Banks told the New Statesman that Mr Carswell viewed himself as “God’s appointed representative” of the campaign to leave the EU.

Ukip's leadership had been in a stand-off with Mr Carswell after he insisted the party should not claim £650,000 a year of taxpayers' money to fund up to 15 additional members of staff in his Parliamentary office.

Speaking to the Gazette, Mr Carswell said: “I think the important thing is that I have been given a mandate by folk in Clacton and at all times I need to answer to them.

“If turning down short money has upset some donors then that is hard luck on them.

“I have to answer to Clacton people for how I use public money.

“I would rather have harsh words with donors than Gazette readers.”

Mr Farage's comments came after his former chief of staff Raheem Kassam warned Ukip's only MP and its campaign chief were bringing the party into “major national disrepute”.

The Ukip leader, who had dismissed the row as "people letting off steam", added: "Two or three people need to make their minds up. Are their futures with Ukip or aren't they?”

It appears that Mr Carswell has won the battle over short money after Mr Farage told BBC’s Question Time he would recommend the party did not accept any of it.

Following a meeting with Ukip leader Nigel Farage on Wednesday, Mr Carswell said: “As Ukip’s representative in the House of Commons, I’m making certain Ukip maintains proper Westminster standards, not Brussels sleazy standards.”