Nigel Farage has delivered his final speech as leader of the Ukip party in which he thanked the party's supporters for changing "the course of British political history". Speaking at Ukip's annual conference in Bournemouth, Farage described Britain voting to leave the EU – which he said was the culmination of his life's work – felt like a "fairy-tale that had come true".

Discussing his future, after promising this time he will not U-turn on his decision to stand down as leader, Farage said he will still be involved in the party.

He offered advice to whoever will replace him – which he predicted is "going to be a her". This was presumably a reference to favourite Diane James but Fargae added that from now he will be "engaged in political life without leading a political party".

He said: "I wish them the very best of luck and my job is not to meddle. My job is not to try and influence but my job will be if that leader wants any help and advice then, make no mistake about it, I am still four-square behind this party and its aims."

Cambridgeshire councillor Lisa Duffy, NEC member Liz Jones, West Midlands MEP Bill Etheridge and former pro-wrestler Philip Broughton make up the other candidates, with the decision expected on this afternoon (Friday 16 September).

Farage said whoever does succeed him must make sure the party stays "healthy and strong" to pressure the government to deliver a "hard Brexit" which the British people voted for on 23 June. "We won the war but we now must win the peace," he added.

Farage gave three examples of what Theresa May needs to do to ensure her frequent promise that "Brexit means Brexit". These were that Britain will have back its territorial fishing waters and whether the UK will be outside the single market. For the final "acid test", which he drew out his passport from his jacket pocket to deliver, Farage said: "The only time we will really know... that Brexit means Brexit is when that has been put in the bin and we get back a British passport."

He added: "I have a feeling they are not going to deliver all of that, and I'm certain they are not going to deliver it unless Ukip is strong and fighting hard in every single constituency in this country."

The 52-year-old also listed off some other of Ukip's achievements, including how they "brought down" former Prime Minister David Cameron, ex-Chancellor George Osborne and Jonathon Hill, Britain's EU Commissioner who resigned from the role following the referendum vote.

Farage announced on 4 July his intentions to stand down as leader of Ukip having "done his bit" after Britain voted to leave the EU. He previously resigned as Ukip leader after failing to get elected as an MP in South Thanet at the 2015 General Election, before returning three days later.

After declaring to a rapturous crowd of Ukip supporters that "we got our country back" Farage said: "Four years ago, I predicted we'll cause an earthquake in British politics. Well, we have now."

Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage addresses the Ukip party's annual conference in Bournemouth Press Association