Henry Bolton UKIP
Henry Bolton at the recent Ukip Party Conference. Getty Images

The new leader of the UK Independence Party, Henry Bolton, has discussed his bizarre claim that he could kill a badger with his "bare hands" during an interview on Sky News' Sunday with Paterson programme.

Bolton was asked about the comment he made in an interview with the Russia Today TV programme, which asked him if he was subjected to any initiation rituals when he was voted Ukip's new leader in September.

He said how the Russia Today host offered a handful of options for initiations that could have taken place, including chasing and strangling a badger.

"They gave me a few options," he said, "ideas for an initiation ceremony into the leadership of Ukip, and the one that was probably most suitable for me was chasing a badger across Dartmoor, capturing it and then breaking its neck with one's bare hands which was a slightly unusual thing.

"It was a little odd."

When the suggestion was put to him, Bolton told Russia Today: "I reckon I could do that."

Bolton became leader after he beat fellow front-runners, Sharia Watch director Anne Marie Waters and London Assembly member Peter Whittle. Endorsed by former leader Nigel Farage, he won with 3,874 votes.

"Nigel is Nigel," Bolton said, "I'm not going to try and fill his boots. I have my own style, I have my own personality and I think you will see that emerge."

During his appearance on Sunday with Paterson, Bolton was asked if he would put a number on how many people should be entering the UK, but he dismissed the question as "arbitrary".

"In an ideal world, and I'm not saying this is practical, we should be aiming - certainly for the next few years - to zero net immigration. But the chances of hitting zero net immigration, it's a very difficult target to hit - for no other reason than the fact net immigration is also affected by the number of people who leave the country, and we can't control how many people leave the country.

"So in terms of the overall number of people coming in, yeah, the ideal would be to bring it down to zero."

Bolton is a former army officer and security expert who, having won the leadership battle, pledged to move Ukip away from the anti-muslim rhetoric that had defined it.