Suzanne Evans blasts new Ukip leadership rules

Ukip today announced any potential successor to Nigel Farage must have been a party member for at least five years – ruling out some of its most high-profile figures including Shrewsbury-based former deputy chairman Suzanne Evans.

Suzanne Evans
Suzanne Evans

Party members were told of the rule change today after a meeting of Ukip’s NEC, who also confirmed any potential leadership challenger would have to stump up a deposit of £5,000.

The closing date for nominations is July 31, and after a vote among members the result will be known on September 15.

Clacton MP Douglas Carswell, party donor Arron Banks and Welsh Assembly member Mark Reckless are all unable to stand for Ukip leader under the rules, as is the currently suspended Ms Evans.

She expressed her anger at the NEC’s decision – and compared the committee to the EU.

"I cannot imagine a decision more ridiculous and more likely to bring Ukip into disrepute," she said.

"It means people such as Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless, our current and former MPs, and the latter also a Welsh AM, cannot stand, despite the huge dedication they have shown to the party and their current elected positions.

"I hope the new leader will allow members to attend NEC meetings unless confidential information is being discussed, publish the minutes, and set up a ‘right of recall’ so NEC members are accountable to members.

"At the moment, frankly, by operating in secret, changing the rules as it goes along, and being totally unaccountable, it is behaving like the EU."

MEPs Steven Woolfe and Diane James are eligible to take part in a leadership bid, as is former Tory MP Neil Hamilton - although he has already ruled himself out.

Farage announced he was standing down as Ukip leader on Monday July 4 after helping the Brexit campaign win the EU Referendum.

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Comments for: "Suzanne Evans blasts new Ukip leadership rules"

Uhtred

Discrimination surely?

I would have thought the one and only criteria would be the best person for the job. Talk about self destruct!

2Ladybugs

In the circumstances it seems quite fair. Don't want disaffected people from other parties just walking in and thinking they can become leader of their new, chosen party. The party have gained some extremely nasty people in recent years who add very little but who seem to think they can abuse long standing members. Can but try this new set-up for a few years to see if there are any advantages. If not they may have to think again. We have some very interesting young members who seem very capable, in a few years time, to become the leader.

Terry

Bye bye UKIP the damage is done and now you have no role. We have Not Mother Theresa as Prime Minister from this Wednesday, so perhaps you shouldn't have jumped ship Suzanne!

Roger

So we see that UKIP is a proper normal party. Equal to any of the others in how to fix a leadership election. The Tories have got there without a vote after eliminating the dangerous ones. Labour don't want am election with Cobyn on the Ballot sheet but can't find a way round the rules, so they will set up a stalking horse to remove Corbyn and then depose her in a new election that Corbyn will not be able to get enough nominations for. We won't know until then who is really after the leadership.

UKIP as ever are very straightforward and up front. Simply count back backwards until they reach a date that all serious contenders are eliminated and set that as the qualifying date. Open and above board on what their doing.

What's left is a the very old joke "a Liverpudlian in a suit".

The Tories have outsmarted them all. They will be back to business as usual before the others even have a ballot sheet. They can push almost anything through in the next few weeks. They have already said Trident in a fortnight and maybe a new cabinet reshuffle and emergency budget by another name before the summer recess.

PJS

Roger, I agree with much of what you say - but I don't think Angela Eagle will command enough support amongst rank and file Labour party members and supporters to oust Corbyn, not least because of all the parties, Labour's election rules are the most democratic.

I think you're right about the Tories pushing through more by way of cuts and austerity, and of course they've been given the ideal excuse to do so by the damage done to the economy by the Brexit vote.

No-one can deny that government borrowing will now cost more, nor that the supposed financial benefit of leaving the EU was lied about, and that the cost of subsidies by the Bank of England to prop up the economy, together with expenditure to replace EU subsidies to the farming and fishing industries, plus the replacement of funding to poorer areas of the UK, including Cornwall, West Wales and to some extent Shropshire, will vastly outweigh any cash saving, thus adding to our debt.

Expect the working poor, the disabled and the NHS to bear the brunt!

Roger

PJS

I agree on Angela Eagle. I don't see here as charismatic leader of the left. If Corbyn is on the ballot sheet she will lose. If others go onto the list they will split the anti Corbyn vote. We are still waiting to see who the PLP right contender really is.

This is now a fundamental split in the Labour Party where the PLP will not toe the party line. It can't keep going on like this so it has to be settled to the point that the party at large sets the policies and MPs are elected on the policies to deliver them. It is going get very bloody but it has to be settled once and for all.

Whilst the PLP are bidding for supremacy Teresa May has quietly side stepped into the PLP's political ground. The PLP have no political policy that is any different to the Tories under May so are unelectable. The only way Labour can become electable is to move left and recapture the ground stolen by UKIP. By the time May brings the Tories to the election box the evils of the Cameron government will have despatched to history, no trace remaining. The anti Cameron/Osborne vote will no longer exist. In the last two weeks the political centre has shifted significantly to the left.

I do not see a potential Labour leader capable of emerging from of the left of centre and leading the party. Corbyn has done well to lead the party in the house and has opposed in a way that the previous leadership failed to do. Corbyn is the best they have at the moment, but I can see how he might put off the popular vote because of his own personal extreme left policies.

He is right to force the the issue now because this simply can't be allowed to on. By 2020 the electorate need to know what labour stands for so that they support it or not because that is democracy. Nobody will vote for the left to elect a party from the right. That is Oxymoronic. If the PLP right want to be centrist they should defect to a centrist party like the Lib Dems in the tradition of the way the "Gang of Four" formed the Social Democrats who then merged with the Liberals. That is their natural home and a party that can then fight an election on a Social Democratic ticket. I think that is where our next elected government will come from.

Jett

Congratulations to Tim Farron, Britain's longest serving UK-wide party leader (12 months). Corbyn's been in post for 9 months, May for -1 day, and both the Greens and UKIP are electing.

Jett

How did the Star manage to airbrush Farage out of the photo so skilfully?