Suspended Ukip member Suzanne Evans says she is confident of being reinstated and will not “watch bullies take over the party”.
Ms Evans, who lives in Shrewsbury and stood as a Ukip candidate for the constituency in last year’s General Election, was suspended by her party for six months earlier this week.
Ukip said the suspension was for bringing the party into disrepute. It said she had “publicly criticised a fellow candidate in breach of the party rules” and its constitution.
Mrs Evans had signed a petition calling for the removal of a Ukip candidate whom she said held anti-gay views. The party said she had also acted as a spokeswoman without permission, despite her holding the title of policy and communications officer.
The suspension means she will not be able to stand in the forthcoming elections for the London Assembly as intended.
Ms Evans, Ukip ’s former deputy chairman, said she felt she had been bullied within the party. She said: “I went into politics to stand up for people being bullied not to be bullied myself and I am not going to stand by idly and watch bullies take over Ukip .”
Having failed in a High Court bid to overturn her suspension Mrs Evans said she would now be launching an appeal to the party – her only course of redress. She said: “I am completely confident I will be completely exonerated.” Ms Evans also said she still believed she has a future in Ukip . She said: “I still think I can have a future in Ukip with Nigel Farage as leader, whether he wants me to is another matter.”
Ms Evans had been recommended as interim leader by Mr Farage when he announced his intention to resign following his failure to get elected as an MP at the 2015 general election. However, she was subsequently demoted after saying: “Nigel is a very divisive character in terms of the way he is perceived . . . he is not divisive as a person, but the way he is perceived in having strong views that divide people.”
Ms Evans finished third in the contest to become MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham.Subscribe to our Newsletter