DR Nuttall, I presume?

Well, no.

New Ukip leader Paul Nuttall has been forced to deny reports he lied about having a PhD.

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The former lecturer says it wasn’t him that put up a LinkedIn website page claiming he’d completed a doctorate in the history of conservatism at Liverpool Hope University. He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr: “No, I’ve never claimed I’ve got a PhD. It’s not on my website. It’s on a LinkedIn page that wasn’t put up by us and we don’t know where it’s come from.”

Nuttall started a PhD in 2004, but never finished.

The Ukip boss was also forced to deny claiming to be a professional footballer, despite two posts on his website, saying exactly that.

Nuttall told Marr: “I played for five years for Tranmere Rovers as a school boy and a youth team player – I have never claimed I was a professional player.

“It was one press release in 2010, put out by a press officer, who knows nothing about football.”

Both posts on paulnuttallmep.com were written in 2010, with the one about his support for the National Football Museum, calling him a “former professional footballer” in the second paragraph.

The second praising Blackpool FC’s promotion to the Premier League, said he had “spent time as a professional footballer for Tranmere Rovers”.

It’s not the first time Nuttall’s relationship with the truth has been questioned. During May’s General Election a Ukip leaflet ostensibly showed Nuttall standing in front of a library filled with books. On closer inspection it was clear the bookshelves had been digitally manipulated, copied and pasted, to make it look like there were twice as many tomes as there actually were.

During the show, Nuttall tried to clarify his policy positions on the NHS, the death penalty, and benefit cuts.

He said privatising the health service, may be something that needed to be considered in the future, but insisted he would not push for it as Ukip leader.

It marked a softening of his position if anything, in 2011 he called for the private sector to be more heavily involved in the health service, claiming the NHS stifled and competition and provided second-rate care.

“At some point in this century, years on, we may well have to have a debate on how we fund the NHS in this country,” he said. He added: “Under my leadership Ukip will be committed to keeping the NHS in public hands and free at the point of delivery.”

Nuttall also said Ukip supported the Government’s cuts to Universal Credit, saying his party would “probably not reverse” Tory cuts.

“It cannot be right that we have 1.7 million in Britain today who are unemployed, 600,000 of them are between 18 and 24, and this goes back to the key issue of immigration,” he said.

Nuttall believes in the death penalty for the killers of children, but said this was a personal view and would not become Ukip policy.

According to reports in the Mail on Sunday, Nuttall is set to stand in the Leigh by-election, expected early next year when Labour’s Andy Burnham leaves the Commons to run for Mayor of Greater Manchester.

Though Labour have a 14,000 majority in the constituency, 63 per cent of voters in the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan backed Leave at the EU referendum.