Ukip 'Unsack' Suzanne Evans...No, Seriously

Ukip Leader Nigel Farage with Suzanne Evans in April
Ukip Leader Nigel Farage with Suzanne Evans in April
Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Just when you thought Ukip couldn’t get anymore disorganised, the party have ‘unsacked’ deputy chairman Suzanne Evans.

Yesterday afternoon, a “directive” was issued supposedly from the top of the party that Ms Evans was no longer a spokesman for Ukip.

The order came after Ms Evans claimed Ukip leader Nigel Farage was a “divisive” figure during an appearance on the BBC’s Daily Politics yesterday lunchtime.

The email, obtained by the BBC’s Robin Brant, made it clear no one in the Ukip press office was to “have any further contact” with the party’s Deputy Chairman.

But in the latest bizarre turn of events, the Ukip press office this afternoon issued the following statement: “Suzanne Evans has not been sacked as a Ukip spokesman. The email seen by the BBC was issued without proper authority.”

On yesterday's Daily Politics, presenter Andrew Neil pressed Ms Evans on whether a "Marmite" politician such as Mr Farage, who wants to play a major role in the debate, should be leading the "out" EU referendum campaign.

Ms Evans said: "Nigel is a very divisive figure in terms of the way he is perceived. He is not divisive as a person. The way he is perceived is having strong views that divide people. In that sense he is right (not to take a leading role). I think it will be somebody else that fronts it."

She appeared to be echoing comments made by Mr Farage himself, who has admitted not everyone likes him and there are "better" people to take charge of the campaign.

But Ms Evans comments appeared to provoke a furious backlash within the party, and an email leaked to the BBC yesterday read: “I have just spoken to Nigel and in light of Suzanne Evans’ comments on TDP I am issuing this directive.

"1. From this moment onwards no one employed by the Ukip press office is to have any further contact with SE [Suzanne Evans].

"2. No bids are to be accepted for SE and she is not to be offered as an official Ukip spokesman.

"3. No one is to brief SE or advise her on any issue.”

The ‘unsacking’ of Ms Evans comes after Mr Farage ‘unresigned’ as party leader and Matthew Richardson ‘unresigned’ as party secretary.

Former economics spokesman Patrick O’Flynn, who quit the frontbench after describing Mr Farage as a “snarling, thin-skinned and aggressive” man, remains resigned.

On today's Daily Politics, former Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom compared Ukip to the Soviet Union under Josef Stalin.

He said: "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."

Popular in the Community