About now, most of us will be receiving our ballot papers for the new UKIP leadership election. After the demise of Steven Woolfe for various reasons and Diane James, the party needs a leader it can unite behind, especially given Theresa May’s deliberate delaying tactics on Brexit.
There are 3 candidates who have made it to ‘in the running’ all of whom have some excellent qualities – Suzanne Evans, Paul Nuttall and John Rees-Evans.
More information about each of them can be found below:
Suzanne is a self-confessed ‘centrist’ candidate, who says she wants to broaden UKIP’s appeal and de-toxify the party. Suzanne is UKIP’s parliamentary spokesperson and author of the 2015 General Election manifesto. She also featured in Debrett’s 500 ‘People of Influence’ 2016.
Key commitments/policies include getting us out of the EU by simply repealing the 1972 European Communities Act, tackling radical islam, tackling immigration, cutting the foreign aid budget, spending more on defence, standing against corporate tax avoidance and reducing sky-high energy bills. She also wants to see reform of the NEC to make it more accountable to members.
Paul is a former university lecturer from Merseyside who joined UKIP in 2004 and was a founding member of Young Independence in 2008. He has held down many positions including Party Chairman and Deputy Leader, as well as being the youngest appointed UKIP MEP.
Paul is presenting himself as the experienced unity candidate. Paul’s policies include being much better at deporting foreign criminals, getting on with Brexit, having an English first minister and parliament to mirror the devolved assemblies in Scotland and Wales, and making the NEC represent each region and its members.
John is a former Parachute Regiment soldier who was partly raised in a single parent family. He has done many jobs to make ends meet in the past including meat packer and toilet cleaner. He is fairly unknown within UKIP in England and Scotland but has been very active in his home area of Wales where he has produced party political broadcasts and done other ‘behind the scenes’ work.
John is standing on a platform of removing the NEC and introducing direct democracy for UKIP membership to shape and approve policies from the bottom up. He also believes in protecting British heritage, culture and freedom of speech, and reducing government and the ‘nanny state’. His view on Brexit is that Article 50 is a nonsense and (like Suzanne Evans) it should be avoided.
All 3 candidates have excellent qualities and ideas. The crucial decision for each member to make is which candidate has the best vision for the party, and will unite and strengthen it so it can truly challenge Labour and the Conservatives for government of this country.
Side note : Latest information in the press as of 17th November indicates that Paul Nuttall will make Suzanne Evans his deputy if elected, and possibly vice versa though this has not been formally announced.