Trouble appears to be brewing within Ukip as a squabble threatens to break out over who will stand for the party in the upcoming London mayoral election due to take place next year.
Insiders within the party are briefing the press that Kipper leader Nigel Farage is hoping to block deputy chair Suzanne Evans in favour of a more pliable candidate and culture spokesman Peter Whittle, in the latest evidence Nige is unwilling to relinquish control of the party.
Central to this scheme, first reported by the Spectator, is the use of a central committee for vetting candidates which replaced a one-member-one-vote system, with the panellists Chris Bruni-Lowe, Paul Oakden and Mick McGough said to be loyal to Farage.
As one “senior Ukip insider” put it: “It looks like a stitch-up, and smells like a stitch up. I just hope it isn’t one.”
In response an anonymous party source claimed that the previous voting system was a “disaster”, leading to a “shambolic” 2012 London mayoral campaign that ended with Ukip failing to get its name on the ballot paper.
This oversight occurred after the clown doing the admin for Ukip candidate Lawrence Webb signed him up under “Fresh Choice for London”. Ukip ended up second-last in a field of seven, with a mere 2 percent of the vote.
The Farage defender added that it would be be strange if Farage did not have loyalists on the panel, given he is the leader.
Suzanne Evans is the bookies’ favourite to take over from Farage in the event he resigns without immediately rejoining the party, as he did in the wake of the general election despite promising to quit if he failed to win a seat in the Commons.
She said it was a “shame” that the one-member-one-vote system had been dropped, but optimistically added she had “trust” that the panel had the party’s interests at heart rather than Nige’s.
Update: Contacted by the Right Dishonourable to comment on the story, Kipper head office staffer David Challice said: “This is a nonsense story invented by political journalists who are fed up writing about Jeremy Corbyn. Please ignore it. We are.”
Image Credit – Nigel Farage in May 2008, by Euro Realist Newsletter