Steven Woolfe has not ruled launching a legal challenge against Ukip's ruling body if he is kept off the party's leadership ballot, sources close to the frontrunner told IBTimes UK. The development comes after the North West MEP faced "technical problems" with his nomination application process.

Woolfe, who is also Ukip's migration spokesman, filed the papers and the required £5,000 deposit to the party just 25 minutes before the deadline closed on Sunday afternoon (31 July).

But a spokesman for Woolfe said an issue with Ukip's electronic systems meant the application did no go through until 17 minutes after the 12pm deadline.

"Woolfe was speaking to party officials responsible for handling the application process throughout this time and right up to the deadline," the spokesman added. "He informed them that he was having technical problems. These problems were finally resolved and the paperwork submitted."

A three person vetting panel from Ukip's National Executive Committee (NEC) will meet on Tuesday afternoon to decide whether Woolfe can run in the leadership contest. Sources close to Woolfe told IBTimes UK they were "very concerned about a weighted vetting panel" against him.

Woolfe was forced to deny claims he was ineligible to stand in the contest left week amid claims that he had allowed his membership to lapse. Ukip rules mean leadership hopefuls have to be a member of the party for at least two consecutive years.

Woolfe told IBTimes UK that he had received confirmation from Ukip's outgoing chairman, Steve Crowther, that he has been a "member of good standing" for the past two years and blamed the party's "poor infrastructure systems" for apparently failing to recognise his payments.

Former Ukip deputy chairman Suzanne Evans, who is supporting Lisa Duffy's leadership bid after ruling out running herself because of her suspension from the party, denied any conspiracy against Woolfe.

"Given the lengths some in the party have gone to keep others off the ballot paper, I don't see how someone whose membership lapsed for some 18 months, and who only renewed a couple of weeks ago can possibly stand," she told IBTimes UK.

"Given that same candidate then failed to submit nomination papers in time, I think that seals it. It sounds less like a conspiracy a more of a cock-up on the part of Steven Woolfe to me."