The UK Independence Party plans to announce its new leader amid concerns that an openly anti-Islam chief may be chosen.

The candidacy of Anne Marie Waters has raised the specter of a split in party ranks because of her anti-Islam views.

She is thought to be one of several candidates gaining strength in the leadership contest. The new leader will be announced Friday afternoon and will deliver a major speech at the party conference the following day.

UKIP has struggled since achieving its aim of winning public support in the 2016 referendum to leave the European Union. It scored less than 2 percent of the votes in the June general election.

Former leader Nigel Farage warns the party is "finished" if it embraces an anti-Islam platform.