Diane James Quitting

dianeUKIP are refusing to deny that Diane James is quitting as leader after just two weeks in the job. Guido understands that family reasons are a factor, she told the party at the weekend that she wanted to stand down – they thought they had convinced her to stay but now it appears a decision has been taken. Nutall and Woolfe will be the frontrunners. Make sure you get your nomination papers in on time…


Friday Caption Contest (Kiss Me UKIP Edition)

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Diane James New UKIP Leader

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Congratulations, Diane was the best woman for the job. Only Labour and the LibDems have never had a female leader…

UPDATE: Guido’s impression of Diane – having spent a little time with her – is that she is for UKIP uncharacteristically level-headed and means business. The drunken pub crawl is definitely not her campaigning style. On the day Nigel resigned I asked her if she was running – she told Guido she was not going to be a candidate. Just as well she changed her mind…

Diane James Vows to Sack UKIP Plotters

Diane James is the candidate being pushed by many Faragists behind the scenes, and last night she followed their lead by demanding the party “ditch the NEC”. She also made this stark threat to UKIP plotters:

“There’s going to be no place in UKIP under my leadership for those who have sought or seek to destabilise, destroy or even obstruct what a new constitution will outline for the future governance of this party. So for all those individuals for whom what I’ve just described the cap fits, I suggest you find your P45 when it’s sent to you and I suggest you start looking for a new career, because we don’t want you in UKIP, I can tell you that now.”

It’s clear who she means – the anti-Farage faction on the NEC. Punchy stuff which will go down very badly with the Lisa Duffy/Suzanne Evans team. Though if Diane kicked out every Kipper who has destabilised the party there wouldn’t be many left…

UPDATE: Patrick O’Flynn, who’s in the Lisa Duffy camp, hits back at Diane:

“I am very surprised, disappointed and indeed perturbed to hear that Diane is threatening to expel from UKIP anyone who opposes the NEC being scrapped, not least because I oppose the NEC being scrapped. Given that she is not attending Ukip’s leadership hustings either Ukip members will be forgiven for wondering which party Diane is standing for the leadership of – Ukip or some new online party being promoted from the shadows.”

 

Woolfe Misses Nomination Deadline

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UKIP officials are meeting on Tuesday to determine if Steven Woolfe is on the leadership ballot after he missed the midday nomination deadline. Woolfe’s spokesman insists he is still a candidate and that he submitted his papers on time, claiming a technical glitch meant it didn’t go through:

“Steven Woolfe remains a candidate in the UKIP leadership contest. He submitted his application form at 11.35am this morning, in advance of the midday deadline. However, due to technical problems on the party system, it did not successfully go through until 12.17pm.

“Mr Woolfe was speaking to party officials responsible for handling the application process throughout this time and right up to the deadline. He informed them that he was having technical problems. These problems were finally resolved and the paperwork submitted.”

There is also some speculation that Diane James is on the ballot. She was previously thought not to be in the running. It could only happen to UKIP…

Farage Plays Hardball With BBC

On Friday Guido revealed the BBC had offered Nigel Farage a panel debate with Nicola Sturgeon in front of an under-30 audience in Glasgow. The development this morning is that Nige has rejected this initial proposal and is holding out for a place at the box office Wembley debate on 21 June. Sources familiar with the UKIP leader’s thinking believe he deserves to take part in the main debate and plans to play hardball, refusing to accept anything less than that. They have cheekily offered Diane James for the Glasgow debate instead. It’s understandable why Nige wants Wembley, he will feel his rightful place is at the biggest debate of them all. Though if he doesn’t get it and he refuses the Sturgeon clash he could be left with just a Q&A on ITV. Surely one prime-time BBC One national debate is better than none… 

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Quote of the Day

Peter Mandelson tells Emma Barnett…

“I think that Jeremy Corbyn himself should search his conscience and ask himself whether he’s the best person to lead the Labour Party into the general election with the best chance of success for the party.”

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