UKIP’s leadership contest takes a surreal turn as unknown John Rees-Evans declares he is running and discusses live on the Daily Politics how a gay donkey raped his horse. “Please can we move on…”, says John, speaking for Kippers everywhere.
— Peston on Sunday (@pestononsunday) October 23, 2016
After Suzanne called Raheem “far right”, Nigel tells Peston: “I won’t be voting for her, not after that”. It’s war on UKIP Super Sunday…
— The Andrew Marr Show (@MarrShow) October 23, 2016
As expected Suzanne Evans is in the race. She says Raheem Kassam is on the “far right” and says UKIP don’t need Arron Banks’ money. Punchy…
— The Andrew Marr Show (@MarrShow) October 23, 2016
Nuttall set to declare later this morning…
Stand by for UKIP leadership contenders to make their minds up by Sunday. There are op-eds being lined up in the weekend papers, before Suzanne Evans and Paul Nuttall tour the Sunday morning politics programmes. Suzanne has been gathering signatures so she looks set to announce. All eyes on Nuttall, who some prominent Kippers think has plucked up the courage to run. Farage is also appearing on Peston. Raheem Kassam will be spending the weekend with the grassroots, trying to close the gap on the others who’ve done years on the rubber chicken circuit. We’ll have a better idea of who the next leader will be in 72 hours time…
With Steven Woolfe out and more candidates throwing their hats into the ring, Guido brings you an update on the UKIP leadership race:
Suzanne Evans: Quietly gathering signatures for her nomination. Her suspension has lapsed, she should be a member in good standing for 28 days (we think) and thus eligible. Bookies’ favourite. Will her closeness to the Farage-hating Carswell faction cost her with the grassroots?
Paul Nuttall: Other candidates fear Nuttall will win if he stands. This Telegraph article sounds like he wants it. Though there is no noticeable effort to gather signatures, he didn’t want to run last time and will be asking himself if it’s really worth it. Dithering or not bothering at all?
Raheem Kassam: Loudly gathering the necessary signatures. Has been campaigning hard online and thinks he has enough signatures to submit the paperwork on Sunday. If Nuttall doesn’t run there is a possibility Raheem could actually do it. His price to win is tighter than Trump’s!
Peter Whittle: UKIP’s London mayoral candidate is popular in the capital. While campaigning in Witney he appeared on one of Kassam’s campaign videos and even said his rival’s slogan: “Make UKIP Great Again”, though he tells Guido he is not on Team Raheem. Also quietly gathering signatures.
Bill Etheridge: Said he’d stand unless there was somebody he could back 100%. Accused of cheating by his fiancee. Has been round the rubber chicken circuit.
David Kurten: Lower profile, tried to be nominated as UKIP’s mayoral candidate with a false London address. When Breitbart asked him how he responded to allegations of racism in UKIP he replied: “UKIP isn’t racist, I love white people!”
Suzanne, Nuttall and Raheem are the frontrunners…
Above shows the latest odds from the bookies courtesy of Betdata.io. In a situation that is very fluid the betting markets are probably the best place to gain insight into the candidate’s support – real money rather than spin. Woolfe pulling out is good for Kassam, his chances have since shot up, with a lot of his Faragist support going to Raheem. He’s running a characteristically energetic campaign online.
Suzanne Evans is the bookies’ favourite and the truth of that position is bolstered by YouGov polling:
This situation will change rapidly. The YouGov polling above was done before Woolfe had quit and Kassam had declared. It is still unclear if Nuttall is definitely running. Suzanne has not exactly been campaigning hard having only had it confirmed yesterday by the UKIP NEC that she could be a candidate. Nominations close on Halloween, the full horror show finishes on November 28…
Steven Woolfe has resigned from UKIP with immediate effect.
“Six years ago, I joined Ukip. Since then, I have campaigned with all my energy, time and determination to champion the party’s core beliefs and values.
“I have been proud to stand in local, general, PCC and London assembly elections – and of course to be elected as a North West MEP.
UKIP’s NEC has ditched the requirement for leadership candidates to have been members for two years, reducing the minimum membership period to 28 days. Candidates will now need 75 signatures to put their name forward, an increase of 25. What does this all mean?[…]
Anti-Faragist elements in UKIP are seeking to censure their leader over his support for Donald Trump. The party’s beleaguered NEC is meeting today to discuss the punishment for Steven Woolfe and Mike Hookem, as well as the rules on whether Woolfe, Raheem Kassam and Suzanne Evans are allowed to stand in the leadership election.[…]
— + BREAKING + EIL + (@BREAKING_EIL) October 7, 2016
“There was no punches thrown, there was no face slapping, there was no digs, there was nothing… a bit of a scuffle”
Woolfe claims Hookem “landed a blow“.[…]
UKIP’s party chairman is facing calls from prominent Kippers to suspend Neil Hamilton after he told the BBC Steven Woolfe had “picked a fight and came off worse”. Hamilton handled the issue with his customary charm as Woolfe’s condition remained unknown.[…]