Nigel Farage runs Ukip like a communist dictator and has proved himself to be "unelectable", one of the party's former MEP's has said.
Yesterday the Ukip leadership moved quickly to punish deputy chairman Suzanne Evans, after she told the BBC's Daily Politics programme that Farage was perceived as "divisive" by many voters. Evans, who wrote Ukip's manifesto and just weeks ago was anointed by Farage as his successor, now appears to have been frozen out.
Godfrey Bloom, who was kicked out of Ukip by Farage after he hit reporter Michael Crick over the head with a booklet during a party conference, said today he was not surprised how Farage reacted.
"Watching Suzanne Evans it was a bit like watching a 1938 politburo member criticising Joe Stalin, I don't know where she was going with that," he said today.
Speaking to Andrew Neil on the Daily Politics, Bloom said Farage was "ruthless" and "even a hint of criticism", even from people who were close to Farage, meant "you have your membership card chopped up".
"You’ve got to understand how Ukip works. It is a very autocratic organisation there is no room for criticism," he said. Bloom added that despite his grip on the party machine, Farage was "sadly unelectable". The Ukip leader failed in his attempt to be elected to parliament from South Thanet in May. Bloom added: "It’s very difficult to be an autocratic general when you’re losing battles."
Evans' description of Farage as being seen as "divisive" appears to echo comments by Farage the previous day, when he admitted "not everybody likes" him.
Just hours after making the comments, a “directive” was sent out from a senior Ukip figure effectively firing Evans from her role as a spokesman.