UKIP chiefs have told activists in Walton that the party needs to raise £100,000 or it could be finished.

The party’s interim leader Gerard Batten was at Walton’s Columbine Centre for its Full English Brexit event.

The national party is begging branches to divert funds to keep it going.

Mr Batten said: “If we cannot raise it then the future of the party itself is in question.”

The move comes as the party is facing a six-figure costs claim as part of a legal battle with three Labour MPs.

Mary Newton, chairman of the Clacton branch of the party, said: “Mr Batten said we need to raise £100,000 in two weeks or that could be it.

“We are going to be in a very difficult situation.

“We are hoping that some of our sponsors will come up with some goods.

“Mr Batten was just being honest and open with us about the situation.”

Last week Mrs Newton said Ukip had a horrible year in 2017 and pleaded for election candidates to come forward after losing 14 councillors to defections.

“Mr Batten has got a job to do,” she added.

“He has got a people’s army that is in retreat – and it needs to be turned around.”

Conservative Tendring Council leader Neil Stock previously said that history would show Ukip was an “interesting blip on British politics”