Henry Bolton New UKIP Leader

The Farageist candidate Henry Bolton is the surprise winner. Anne-Marie Waters in second. Peter Whittle in fifth! Shock result…

Punters Make Whittle Favourite to Beat Waters

UKIP will announce the winner of their leadership election this evening at their party conference. Most people think it has boiled down to a two-horse race, overnight betting has seen Peter Whittle become favourite (4/5) and Anne-Marie Waters move out to second favourite (5/4). Has something leaked from the Electoral Reform Society’s counting room?

This is an existential vote for UKIP, former leader Nigel Farage says the party is finished if anti-Islam Waters wins. Most of the MEPs say they will go independent and party officials tell Guido they will quit as well. We’ll know if the party is over in a few hours...

Is UKIP Finished?

If Anne Marie Waters wins Nigel Farage says UKIP is finished and there is no future for UKIP if it is led by her. With most of the votes in and the count due on Friday her noisy supporters on social media are convincing themselves she will win. The bookies agree. Calling UKIP sources who are usually in the know it is clear no one really knows. Did her recently joined UKIP supporters register in time to vote? Do most ‘Kippers pay any attention to social media? 

Guido has a hunch that Peter Whittle will win. Arron Banks’ Leave.EU has backed David Kurten. There is a surprisingly long list of candidates. The threat by the UKIP MEPs to resign en masse if Anne Marie Waters wins will surely have been noticed by ordinary members. If Anti-Sharia Anne Marie wins the UKIP rebrand at their conference this weekend will be colourful…

UKIP Leader Runners and Riders

With Farage not running, a battle for UKIP’s soul is underway between the more classical liberal / libertarian old guard and populist anti-Islam elements who are accused of trying to infiltrate the party. As ever Guido gives you your runners and riders…

  • Peter Whittle: The bookies’ favourite, Whittle withdrew from last November’s contest to endorse Paul Nuttall, becoming his deputy. Likeable and a strong media performer (former TV producer and wonk). Whittle stands in opposition to the party’s more extreme new entrants and advocates for traditional Kipper identity: “I’ve always seen UKIP as a cultural movement“. The obvious successor…
  • Anne Marie Waters: Priced in at 4/1 as the second-favourite, Waters is a former hard-left Labour Party candidate turned hard-right founder of Sharia Watch UK. She was blocked from standing as a UKIP candidate at the general election (under UKIP’s leadership rules this could become an obstacle if she is deemed as not being in “good standing” for the past two years). She set up PEGIDA’s UK branch with Tommy Robinson, who introduced her at her leadership launch last month. Waters has called Islam “a killing machine“; Nuttall has condemned her and the party will split if she wins. Rumours that Waters is flooding UKIP with new members have been exaggerated. Will UKIP block her from standing?
  • David Kurten: London Assembly member Kurten impressed on the general election campaign and was clearly on top of his education brief. Well placed sources describe him as “talented“; he has made clear his intentions to further professionalise the party. First black leader of a UK political party?
  • David Coburn: Flamboyant Scottish MEP who says he is standing “to stop entryists, dilettantes and single issue loonies“. Pro-Farage and slammed Nuttall’s campaign, criticising him for being “extremely ill-advised“. A colourful outside bet… 
  • Ben Walker: The first candidate to declare a leadership bid, 38 year-old Bristol councillor Walker says he wants to return the party to the “grassroots” and claims the number one obstacle the party faces is “itself“. He described the 2017 manifesto as “a shambles“. Advocates a name change and total re-brand…
  • Chris Wells: Thanet Council leader who proposes re-focusing the party from Brexit to adult social care; said he wouldn’t stand if Farage did, and yet to rule himself out. Chances surely hurt by UKIP’s slump in South Thanet…
  • Bill Etheridge: UKIP MEP Etheridge had been tipped but told a local paper on Friday that he is unlikely to put himself forward for fear of splitting the moderate anti-Waters vote. He said: “Whoever is the best person to maintain Nigel Farage’s legacy will be the person I back. The true libertarians in the party will have to unite behind them to defeat the common threat.” All but ruled himself out…
  • John Rees-Evans: Faragist Rees-Evans, who came third in November’s race, once claimed a “homosexual donkey” tried to rape his horse. Apart from that, he is best-known for advocating direct democracy within the party, and boasts more than 70,000 twitter followers. Said to own a survivalist compound in Bulgaria where he has a shooting range (although he said this was an “exaggeration“) . Popular but a long shot?
Alas there is no “make UKIP great again” candidacy from Raheem Kassam, he reckons UKIP is dead and is concentrating on his stateside shock-jock career. All eyes are on what is going to happen with Waters. Her brand of socialist slash EDL-lite politics would certainly be a surprise to most UKIP members…

Whittle Pulls Out

Peter Whittle has pulled out of the UKIP leadership race and endorsed Paul Nuttall:

“To meet the new challenges which the future holds, UKIP needs a leader who knows the party inside out and who can command the loyalty of members across the board.

“So after a great deal of thought, I have decided to withdraw from the leadership contest and recommend wholeheartedly that members vote for Paul Nuttall.

“I would like to thank those members and supporters who planned to support me, but I have become convinced that the sheer breadth of Paul’s political experience, his dedication to the values of the party and the obvious affection in which he is held by members make him the person who is best placed to take us forward.”

And then there were three, well two and the gay donkey rape banter guy.

UKIP’s First Hustings Report

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When Guido turned up at the UKIP leadership hustings last night his cover was nearly blown when Michael Crick ambushed him with a camera and asked if he was a kipper. Thankfully he managed to escape to take his seat.

Nuttall got the biggest cheer of the night and whilst almost every candidate said what the audience wanted to hear, Nuttall consistently delivered it the best. The former mayoral candidate Peter Whittle managed to praise Nuttall at every opportunity and the pair could be seen whispering like naughty children whilst the others were speaking.  Could Whittle pull out soon to endorse Nuttall?

Highlight of the night was Suzanne Evans saying she supported an English flag on every house in Emily Thornberry’s street and Peter Whittle reiterating his policy that every school should fly the Union Jack and have a picture of the Queen. Don’t forget the Victorian world map.

John Rees-Evans of gay donkey rape banter told the audience everything they didn’t want to hear including the drop in membership and the party’s empty coffers. But channelling Trump, he talked up his business success and promised to turn the party completely around by adding a comment section to the UKIP website allowing kippers to propose policy. Guido already seems to provide this.

Bottom line: Evans strong but Nuttall seems more in tune with ‘kippers. 

UKIP Leadership State of Play

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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…

UKIP Leader Runners & Riders

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After the surprise resignation of new UKIP leader Diane James, Guido brings you the latest runners and riders in UKIP’s leadership battle (odds from Betfair):

Paul Nuttall – Evens

Forever in Farage’s shadow, Nuttall has been deputy leader of UKIP for the last six years. His Liverpudlian roots could appeal to the working class north in a way that Evans or Kassam could only ever dream. The favourite after the fracas despite not yet confirming that he is standing…

Steven Woolfe – 2/1

The front runner in the last leadership contest until he forgot to submit his papers on time. Woolfe seemed to take the latest UKIP fight literally when he was in an alleged punch up with fellow MEP Mike Hookem. No longer the favourite post fracas and leaking of his talks with the Conservative Party.

Suzanne Evans – 4/1

Suzanne Evans was a  Conservative Party councillor who defected to UKIP in 2013.  Highly praised for writing UKIP’s 2015 manifesto, she was later suspended from the party for criticising a fellow candidate. Close to Carswell. Evans’s suspension has lapsed just in time for the latest contest.

Raheem Kassam – 15/1

Nigel Farage’s former chief of staff and current London editor of Breitbart, Kassam has already launched his online campaign to be leader with the slogan “Make UKIP great again” but his odds have been widening in the last few days. Most observers think he’s really running for the deputy-leader spot. The former Conservative Party activist is making a big thing of attacking “Blue Kippers”Like Nigel he’s very much a Marmite character.

Bill Etheridge – 27/1

MEP for the West Midlands and another former Conservative Party member. In the last leadership election he was accused of cheating by his fiancee when she found a half empty packet of Viagra in his car. Lad.

UKIP’s NEC is meeting this coming Monday to determine rules and timeframe…

UPDATE: Guido is told that Peter Whittle AM, UKIP’s former candidate for London mayor is also in the running (currently 27/1). A cultured fellow, if Guido’s memory serves him right he too is also a former Conservative Party member.

UKIP Target Labour Voters On Housing Issue

This Party Political Broadcast from UKIP featuring their London mayoral candidate Peter Whittle is aimed squarely at the social housing issue and Labour voters. It features a crying white working class mother with baby blaming immigrants for lack of housing. Labour are always on the back foot of the housing demand issue. UKIP’s blaming of the EU’s open borders resonates….

Purple Goes Pink for UKIP Mayoral Race

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UKIP don’t have a great reputation amongst the gay community after campaigning against marriage equality and even blaming floods on gay sinners.

So good news that their Culture Spokesman Peter Whittle is highly likely to be the party’s candidate for Mayor of London.

Guido hears the think tank boss / Westminster legend is a shoo-in to win the internal contest, and is ready to take the fight from the right to Zac.

Gay Pride would be hard pushed to pull off a similar stunt in banning UKIP next year, should Whittle be on the ballot. The short-list will be whittled down soon…

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