Sacked Suzanne Evans: UKIP Blood-Letting “A Coincidence”

“There has been no purge,” sacked Suzanne Evans told Victoria Derbyshire this morning, insisting it is “a coincidence” that she, Patrick O’Flynn and Gobby have all since lost their jobs. Apparently we shouldn’t believe the “hostile media agenda” and “the only person plotting against Nigel is Nigel himself”.

She pledges her undying loyalty to the dear leader. Is the war over?

UKIP’s Steven Woolfe Squares Up to Jean-Marie Le Pen Entourage

This is the moment UKIP’s Steven Woolfe was involved in a tense stand-off with French far right politician Jean-Marie Le Pen:

Woolfe appeared to say “out the way” as he walked straight through Le Pen’s interview, sparking an angry reaction from Le Pen and his camp. Woolfe tried to explain that a journalist had stepped on him before a Le Pen aide squared up to the UKIP man. Oooh la la…

UPDATE: Détente!

Suzanne Evans Loses Policy Role

As Guido revealed earlier, Suzanne Evans is leaving her job as UKIP policy chief. She says in a statement tonight:

It has been a great privilege to work with UKIP for the past four months to produce the 2015 General Election manifesto. I was delighted with the way it was received, especially by party members and supporters. While my contract for that work comes to an end next week, I remain in my voluntary post as Deputy Chairman.” 

It’s the night of the long Nige…

Reckless in Running to Take Over as UKIP Policy Chief

Will the next victim of the UKIP un-putsch be Suzanne Evans? Speculation mounts that there are plans afoot to sack Suzanne as party policy chief and replace her with defeated ex-MP Mark Reckless. Guido put it to Reckless this afternoon:

“I don’t want to comment on my future plans. Nothing has been agreed.”

Asked if UKIP had offered him Evans’ job, Reckless replied “I don’t want to comment”.

A UKIP spokesman says “no comment”. Evans has been approached for comment but is silent thus far.

Carswell is back in line, Gobby and O’Flynn are out… will Evans be next?

UPDATE: Evans says she will make a statement later.

Patrick O’Flynn Quits Role and Tells Farage: I’m Sorry

O’Flynn stands down as Economics spokesman and grovels to his leader:

“I would like to express to colleagues my sincere regret at going public with my frustrations about the turn of events following polling day. And more than that, I would like to apologise directly to Nigel for the phrase ‘snarling, thin-skinned and aggressive’. This was a fragment of a wider passage about perceptions and is not what I think of him. Nonetheless, I should have known better than anyone what use would be made of phrases that were both unfair and unkind.

“I am proud of what we achieved in the general election and am only sorry to have succumbed, as Roger (Helmer) put it with such impressive understatement, to public remarks that were ‘unhelpful’. I think it appropriate to stand down as economic spokesman, which I have done. I hope in the months ahead to be of use to the great campaign to persuade the British people to leave the EU, which is after all what brought me into politics in the first place.”

That’s everyone brought firmly back in line. Happy Christmas, war is over?

UPDATE: Suzanne Evans speaks:

“Patrick O’Flynn is one of UKIP’s hardest working MEPs. He has been an excellent economics spokesman and made valuable and professional contributions to our manifesto and our General Election campaign. I’m very sorry indeed to see him step down from his spokesman role.”

UPDATE II: Farage does his best Don Corleone:

“Patrick O’Flynn came in person to tell me he had realised that he had made a mistake and, being the honourable man that he is, tendered his resignation as UKIP Economics Spokesman. I accepted his resignation with some sadness, not least because he is very able and has been a great asset to the team. He continues to be a committed UKIP member and MEP.”

The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Douglas Carswell delcared the war is over on the Sunday Politics:

“Do you really think Douglas Carswell, who was a Conservative MP in a safe Conservative seat with a 12,000 majority, who gave all that up to stand shoulder to shoulder with Nigel Farage, do you really think that I’m not 100 per cent pro Ukip and 100 per cent wanting what’s best for Nigel?”

And it was all smiles this morning as Farage, Carswell and Suzanne Evans visited Downing Street to deliver a petition on electoral reform:

Guido understands UKIP press officers Gawain Towler, Alexandra Phillips and John Gill have had their contracts renewed after Gobby left on Friday.

But where’s Patrick “briefy” O’Flynn?

Purple Andy’s Pitch to UKIP

Red UKIP came second in a swathe of seats across the north, polling above 25% in places like Boston and Skegness, Heywood & Middleton, Rotherham, Hartlepool and Rother Valley. 8,000 people voted UKIP in Morley and Outwood, where Ed Balls lost by 400 votes. If a few hundred of those UKIP voters had chosen Labour, Balls would still be an MP.

Hence why Andy Burnham’s pitch for the Labour leadership could easily have been lifted from a UKIP posters during the Wythenshawe & Sale East by-election. Big state, big spending, cutting immigration, ‘protecting’ your benefits, ‘saving’ the NHS and bringing forward the EU referendum. All offered to northern voters by Red UKIP before Purple Andy…

Carswell Speaks: Farage Should “Take a Break”

Douglas Carswell MP and Ukip leader Nigel Farage

Douglas Carswell breaks his silence in the Times. Despite expressing his admiration for the UKIP leader – “Knowing how difficult it is to lead a party makes me admire Nigel Farage all the more” – Carswell ultimately calls for him to go: “even leaders need to take a break. Nigel needs to take a break now”.

He criticises Farage’s comments on HIV:

“At times, Ukip has failed to strike the right tone. By all means we should highlight the problem of health tourism. But we need to admit that using the example of HIV patients to make the point was ill-advised. Ukip has been at its most persuasive when we have been most optimistic. Anger is never a great way to motivate people — at least not for very long.”

And suggests Farage is unhelpful to the Eurosceptic cause ahead of the referendum:

“All of us Ukip supporters should ask one question. Is what I’m doing at this moment making an “out” vote more likely? If it isn’t, stop it and do something else.”

Well Farage did tell him to put up or shut up…

Are You Going to Resign, Gobby? Yes

gobby

The next victim of the UKIP bloodletting is the party’s Director of Communications, Paul “Gobby” Lambert. He has told ITV that he is on holiday and not coming back.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Farage Rejects the Short Money

Nigel Farage tried to out-Carswell Douglas Carwell on Question Time last night when he revealed that he will be recommending UKIP take none of the Short Money cash pile.

“The last thing the public want to see is a political

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Raheem Calls For Patrick O’Flynn’s Head

Fresh from being described as a “wrong un” by Patrick O’Flynn, Nigel Farage’s outgoing chief of staff Raheem Kassam popped up on Sky last night to blast O’Flynn and call for his resignation.

Boulton:  “Are you saying

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Kassam Out: Explains Confusion to Guido

“I no longer work for UKIP, but whether I ever work for Nigel again remains to be seen…

My contract expires at the end of the month and I’m on holiday till then.”

He claims from NYC…[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Adam Boulton says David Cameron campaigned as a neo-Thatcherite…

“The manifesto programme, with its sell-off of social housing, clampdown on public sector strikes, EU in/out referendum and benefit cuts, represents a much more traditional, neo-Thatcherite conservatism than that offered by Cameron Mk 1…”

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