David Duke, the former leader of the Klu Klux Klan (KKK), has announced his intention to run for the US senate in the state of Louisiana. The white supremacist said he made the decision to run for the seat vacated by Republican David Vitter following "overwhelming support".

In a speech posted on his website announcing his intention, the former KKK Grand Wizard said he believes in equal rights and respect for all Americans. "However, what makes me different is that I also demand respect for the rights of heritage for European Americans," he added.

Duke said: "Thousands of special interest groups stand up for African Americans, Mexican Americans, Jewish Americans etc etc. The fact is European Americans need at least one man in the US Senate who will defend their rights and heritage.

"The people of Louisiana must have at least one man in the Senate who will never surrender, never give up, never sell out to special interest."

Duke said the US needs to stop the mass of immigration as well as the "ethnic cleansing of the people whose forefathers created America". He added that he is "overjoyed" that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Americans have embraced "most of the issues I've championed for years".

He concluded: "The time is now, a revolution is coming in the US for the real people".

A statement posted on his website read: "If elected, Duke would be the lone voice for truth and sanity in the US Congress. He would be the one advocate for the rights of the majority European American population, which is currently facing massive institutional and legal discrimination and is on the way to becoming a bullied and marginalised minority. He would be the one person willing to call out the neocon globalists on their insane warmongering and regime change projects that risk World War II."

Duke previously failed in his bid for governor in the 1991 race against Edwin Edwards in what became one Louisiana's most high-profile elections.