Suzanne Evans’ application in the High Court to have her suspension from UKIP lifted has failed. She’ll have to pay £5,000 costs. Patrick O’Flynn has started a petition to get her reinstated. Read all the gory details of the court case only on Guido here…
UPDATE: Suzanne speaks:
“I am stunned and distressed by this latest turn of events. I will look to take up whatever right of appeal is open to me. I remain determined to keep my personal focus on working to the full extent of my ability to help secure a ‘Leave’ vote in the EU Referendum on 23rd June, and contribute to electoral successes for UKIP on 5th May.”
UPDATE II: UKIP hit back:
“A disciplinary panel constituted by the UKIP National Executive Committee today (23 March 2016) heard a complaint against Suzanne Evans that she had publicly criticised a fellow candidate in breach of the party rules and in terms which contravene the Party Constitution. The panel resolved to suspend her membership of the party for six months. The decision may be subject to appeal. Ms Evans sought an injunction in the High Court today to prevent the hearing, but this was unsuccessful. As a consequence of this, she will not now be nominated as a UKIP candidate in the London Assembly elections to be held on May 5th.”
As Guido revealed earlier, Suzanne Evans is leaving her job as UKIP policy chief. She says in a statement tonight:
“It has been a great privilege to work with UKIP for the past four months to produce the 2015 General Election manifesto. I was delighted with the way it was received, especially by party members and supporters. While my contract for that work comes to an end next week, I remain in my voluntary post as Deputy Chairman.”
It’s the night of the long Nige…
Will the next victim of the UKIP un-putsch be Suzanne Evans? Speculation mounts that there are plans afoot to sack Suzanne as party policy chief and replace her with defeated ex-MP Mark Reckless. Guido put it to Reckless this afternoon:
“I don’t want to comment on my future plans. Nothing has been agreed.”
Asked if UKIP had offered him Evans’ job, Reckless replied “I don’t want to comment”.
A UKIP spokesman says “no comment”. Evans has been approached for comment but is silent thus far.
Carswell is back in line, Gobby and O’Flynn are out… will Evans be next?
UPDATE: Evans says she will make a statement later.
Douglas Carswell delcared the war is over on the Sunday Politics:
“Do you really think Douglas Carswell, who was a Conservative MP in a safe Conservative seat with a 12,000 majority, who gave all that up to stand shoulder to shoulder with Nigel Farage, do you really think that I’m not 100 per cent pro Ukip and 100 per cent wanting what’s best for Nigel?”
And it was all smiles this morning as Farage, Carswell and Suzanne Evans visited Downing Street to deliver a petition on electoral reform:
Guido understands UKIP press officers Gawain Towler, Alexandra Phillips and John Gill have had their contracts renewed after Gobby left on Friday.
But where’s Patrick “briefy” O’Flynn?
As UKIP’s civil war plays out in the open, here is Guido’s guide to who is backing whom:
The “coup team” led by O’Flynn and Carswell has the support of much of UKIP HQ, especially in the press office, where Gobby and other junior spinners are on board.
Steven Woolfe and Tim Aker signalled their support for the plotters by publicly tweeting back Carswell, but they are said to be sitting on the fence rather than outright supporting a coup.
The Farage loyalists are made up of the old guard ‘Kippers like deputy leader Paul Nuttall and Steve Crowther, as well as money man Arron Banks. They are joined by three of Farage’s closest aides, Raheem Kassam, Chris Bruni-Lowe and Matthew Richardson, whom O’Flynn declared war on this morning in the Times.
Whose side are you on?
UPDATE: UKIP donor Stuart Wheeler now says of Farage “I would like him to step down at least for the moment.”
Suzanne Evans’ Krishnan-Faisal gaffe has made it on to the Daily Politics:
“Can you put some name badges on?” UKIP’s deputy chairman asked Brillo and JoCo…
If you are a UKIP spokesman doing an interview about your party’s problems with racism, you probably should try not to confuse Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy with Sky News’ inimitable Faisal Islam.
Yet, spectacularly, that is what Suzanne Evans did last night:
Suzanne isn’t even the first ‘Kipper to mix up poor old Krishnan and Faisal. Godfrey Bloom made the exact same mistake back in 2013.
Guido always confuses Jon Snow and Adam Boulton…
QT audience member “I’d like to know how much input Nigel Farage actually had into the UKIP manifesto…”
Dimbleby “You think he just accepted what others have written for him? Douglas Carswell?”
Carswell “If only.“
In fact it was put together by a team under the hugely impressive Suzanne Evans, the UKIP deputy chairwoman who was the primary author:
Tim Aker stood down from producing the manifesto – he was too busy getting elected as a councillor in Thurrock and an MEP, with a good chance of also becoming an MP – all within an astonishing year. In the past UKIP’s policies have been fairly mocked as made up on the back of a fag packet and disowned as drivel by Nigel Farage himself, this time they have been stress tested by a team of economists. It shows in that days later the manifesto has not unraveled…
Gaia was excited to get up early this morning in order to attend UKIP’s briefing on their policies for the countryside – “Protecting Our Green and Pleasant Land“. It was disappointing that so few others in the press felt the same way, by Gaia’s count there were 5 other journalists. The UKIP comms operation outnumbered journos two to one…
Heavy hitters Patrick O’Flynn and Suzanne Evans started off by reassuring everybody that they like the countryside a lot and are nothing like the other parties who hate the countryside. Labour hate it and the Tories really hate it.
They hate it so much that they’re going to build lots of houses all over it. UKIP won’t let that happen, they will build lots of houses on brownfield land and stop foreign nationals from getting social housing. Also they will stop uncontrolled immigration.
How many brownfield sites are there? UKIP aren’t really sure but they would build a million houses on them in the next decade. How many non-British nationals are living in social housing? UKIP aren’t really sure but aren’t there a lot of rich foreigners buying up expensive housing in London.
Despite Gobby’s pleading, the journos had run out of questions. Gaia shuffled out into the sunlight for a fag and a croissant…