Suzanne Evans Endorses Lisa Duffy For UKIP Leader

Suzanne Evans’ “major announcement” this morning was that she is endorsing councillor Lisa Duffy for UKIP leader. Who? Lisa describes herself as Patrick O’Flynn’s chief of staff and the “Chair of Ramsey Christmas Lights”. She has been an important and well-liked behind-the-scenes organiser in recent years. Emphasis on ‘behind the scenes’ – she has just 200 Twitter followers and Guido can’t recall ever having seen her on TV. Suzanne says Lisa will take the party to the centre and get rid of the image created by Nigel Farage, which won four million votes at the election and helped win the referendum. It’s Steven Woolfe’s to lose…

UKIP Seeking to Take Advantage of “Oily” Smith

UKIP are rolling their tanks onto Labour’s lawn after Owen Smith said he would try to block Brexit if he becomes leader. Yesterday “Oily” Smith went viral after he pledged a second referendum and admitted it was “tempting” not to trigger Article 50. UKIP leadership frontrunner Steven Woolfe tells Guido such a move would turn the north purple:

“Owen Smith’s disdain for his own voters is frankly disgraceful. My message to the millions who have been left behind by Labour’s sneering and condescending political class is simple – UKIP will speak for you. We are your new home.”

Smith’s rhetoric might appeal to Europhiles in the PLP, but 70% of Labour MPs represent seats which voted to Leave. This graph from Professor Matthew Goodwin shows the Leave vote in Labour areas:

leave

A new, northern, working class UKIP leader versus an oily, Surrey-dwelling Europhile Labour leader? It’s obvious who UKIP want to win the Labour leadership – Owen Smith is the kamikaze candidate…

Top Farage Allies Back Woolfe

Steven Woolfe launches his UKIP leadership bid, backed by key Farage supporters Nathan Gill and Peter Whittle. Will he be the Faragista candidate?

UKIP NEC Votes to Block Evans, Whittle, Banks, Kassam

ukip runners riders

UKIP’s NEC has voted to prevent candidates who have been party members for under five years from running for leader. This is not yet an official motion, but if enforced it means the likes of Suzanne Evans, Peter Whittle, Arron Banks and Raheem Kassam would not be eligible to stand. Nigel Farage aide Michael Heaver explains:

“It would rule out for instance London Assembly Members Peter Whittle and David Kurten, who had both mulled the idea of standing. Suzanne Evans would also would not meet the five-year term even if her suspension was lifted and it would also mean the likes of Arron Banks and Raheem Kassam couldn’t stand either.”

This would leave the contest down to the likes of Steven Woolfe, Neil Hamilton and party director Lisa Duffy. Expect it to be appealed though, Suzanne Evans says: “I cannot imagine a decision more ridiculous”. The UKIP of five years ago is very different to the UKIP of today…

Nuttall Not Running For UKIP Leader

ukip runners riders

Paul Nuttall has just told UKIP’s North West conference that he won’t be standing for the leadership. It’s come as something of a surprise to his supporters and will be well received by allies of Nigel Farage, who wanted him stopped at all costs. A senior UKIP source says: “The race will not be straightforward.”

Nuttall v Woolfe Turning Tasty

Allies of Paul Nuttall are reportedly going round telling UKIP MEPs that Steven Woolfe isn’t fit to be leader. In response, rival ‘Kippers are now working out how best to ‘stop Nuttall’. He had his leadership campaign prepared for months, is backed by Neil Hamilton and is expected to land a lot of support from MEPs who he’s been schmoozing for some time. Farage’s allies are particularly keen that he doesn’t become leader. Nuttall’s brand of left-wing economics combined with an unsubtle stance on immigration could be a success in the North…

Woolfe himself is still considering whether or not to run. Flamboyant Scot David Coburn tells Guido he is considering a bid:

“I will wait to see who puts their hat in the ring. There are those I would surely run against, there are those I would surely support. Let’s see.”

UKIP’s NEC are listening to demands that Suzanne Evans be allowed to stand. Peter Whittle is being encouraged to run by friends of Nigel. If he doesn’t fancy it and Suzanne does stand then expect an Arron Banks / Raheem Kassam bid. London mayoral candidate David Kurten apparently wants to run. Diane James has told friends she isn’t going to throw her hat in. Guido is told there is some hesitation about standing because “no one wants to be David Moyes succeeding Alex Ferguson”, in other words a failure who never managed to fill his predecessor’s shoes and stood down within a year. Nuttall is making the early running…

Raheem Running?

raheem-obama

Raheem Kassam hinted on Newsnight last night that he was considering running for UKIP leader. This morning a source with knowledge of the matter tells Guido that Kassam will only run if Arron Banks doesn’t throw his hat in the ring. Run Raheem, run!

Next UKIP Leader Runners and Riders

ukip runners riders

Who is in the running? As ever Guido gives you your runners and riders:

  • Paul Nuttall – Tells Guido he is taking soundings. Would be a strong candidate to take forward the Red UKIP strategy of fighting Labour in the north. His coveting of the job did not go unnoticed by Team Nige over the last few months. Hopefully he wouldn’t have to give up his Sunday Sport column.
  • Steven Woolfe – Says to Guido that he will make a decision once he has consulted with his wife. Stayed noticeably neutral during the UKIP wars of last May, could he be the unity candidate? One of UKIP’s better TV performers, he is ambitious and has the back story. Expect him to run.
  • Diane James – Touted as a future leader for years, had once been seen as a major rising star but is partial to a gaffe. Nige has always said UKIP’s next leader could be a woman.
  • Peter Whittle – UKIP’s London mayoral candidate has just ruled himself out.
  • Suzanne Evans – Wants the job but there is one major problem. She is suspended and isn’t actually in the party. 
  • Douglas Carswell – The Faragists will stop at nothing to prevent this happening. There are moves to kick him out at tonight’s NEC meeting.

Who are you backing?

UPDATE: Bookies’ odds via Betfair:

Woolfe EVENS, Nuttall 7/4, Evans 3/1, Carswell 6/1, Diane James 6/1, Reckless 6/1

Farage Resigns as UKIP Leader

“I have decided to stand aside as Leader of UKIP. The victory for the ‘Leave’ side in the referendum means that my political ambition has been achieved. I came into this struggle from business because I wanted us to be a self-governing nation, not to become a career politician.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Farage: Carswell Could Be Expelled Monday

Speaking to Iain Dale, Farage says of Carswell:

“What would he know? We find someone in our party who doesn’t agree with anything the party stands for. It’s a very odd state of affairs. I don’t get involved with [expulsions]… That will be up to the party’s NEC to decide on Monday… It is a very odd state of affairs.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Farage Victory Speech to European Parliament

“You’re quite right Mr Schulz; UKIP used to protest against the establishment, and now the establishment protests against UKIP.” He’s loving it…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Nigel Farage “Dares to Dream” Brexit Victory

“Dare to dream that the dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom.”[…]

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Turncoat Tolhurst ‘Claimed to Be Pro-Leave’

kelly

Oh dear… according to Quentin Letts, newly converted Remain supporter Kelly Tolhurst personally told him she was a Brexiteer:

Kelly says she is “surprised” by Quentin’s tweet because she “only finally decided last week”.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Turncoat Tolhurst Backs Remain

kelly

Tory MP Kelly Tolhurst, who claimed to be a Eurosceptic worried about EU immigration in order to defeat UKIP’s Mark Reckless, has endorsed Remain:

“Having listened to the debate, looked at the facts, and spoken to prominent campaigners on both sides, I have now made my own decision that I will be voting to remain on the 23rd June.

[…]

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Christine Hamilton Hired on the Public Payroll

hamilton

UKIP’s new group leader in Wales Neil Hamilton is wasting no time in making the most of his new gig. Guido can reveal he has already hired his wife Christine as his new assistant on the public payroll. No doubt after a full and open recruitment process…

Neil tells Guido:

“It is true I will be employing Christine.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Neil Hamilton Deposes Welsh UKIP Group Leader

hamilton

Neil Hamilton is the new leader of the Welsh UKIP group after mounting a successful coup against the previous leader Nathan Gill. UKIP’s Welsh Assembly members voted 4-3 in Hamilton’s favour today – the disgraced former Tory had not been shy about his ambitions for the role. […]

+ READ MORE +



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