Vacuum cleaner entrepreneur Sir James Dyson could should not lead the campaign to leave the European Union because he is not a “household name”, a former Ukip advisor has said.
Raheem Kassam, who left his advisor position in Ukip last month, said Mr Farage should lead the referendum campaign instead.
“The Hannan-Carswell contention that a ‘business person’ such as Sir James Dyson should lead the ‘Out’ campaign is a joke,” Mr Kassam wrote in the Spectator magazine.
“Labour voters in Sunderland, or Liverpool, or Sheffield, don’t even own a Dyson vacuum cleaner, let alone being on first name terms with the company’s billionaire founder,”
Mr Kassam later tweeted that he was concerned about the “anonymity of Sir James Dyson as a household name”.
By contrast Mr Farage had the “effortless ability to empathise with people from all walks of life” and was a “household name”, he said, adding: “This is precisely why Nigel should take a front seat position in the referendum campaign.”
In pictures: The rise of Ukip
In pictures: The rise of Ukip
1/8 1993: Alan Sked forms Ukip
History professor Alan Sked had been active in anti-EU politics for a while beore he founded Ukip in 1993. He resigned from the party after the 1997 election, concerned that it was attracting far-right members, and has been critical of Ukip since. Picture: Reuters
2/8 2005: Kilroy defects
Former TV presenter Robert Kilroy-Silk founded Veritas in 2005, after a failed bid to become leader, and took many of Ukip's elected members with him. But the party slowly lost its popularity and didn't put forward any candidates in the last election. Picture: REUTERS/Kieran Doherty REUTERS KD/RUS
3/8 2010: Farage becomes leader, again
Farage had led Ukip from 2006 until 2009, when he stood down to fight against the Speaker, John Bercow, for his Buckingham seat. He failed to win the election and returned to lead the party in November 2010. Picture: REUTERS/Kieran Doherty
4/8 2010: Ukip fights for election
Nigel Farage was injured in a plane crash on polling day in the 2010 general election, but his party increased its success in the votes. It fielded 572 candidates and took 3.1% of the vote, though failed to win any seats. REUTERS/Darren Staples
5/8 2013: Eastleigh gains
Ukip's candidate Diane James got the highest ever number of votes for any candidate from the party, but was beaten by the Liberal Democrats. The surge in support gave Ukip confidence ahead of local and European elections later in the year. Picture: Reuters
6/8 2013: Bloom kicked out
Godfrey Bloom, who served as an Ukip MEP from 2004 to 2014, had the whip withdrawn in 2013 after sexist comments and an attack on a journalist. He sat as an independent MEP until 2014, when he ended his term in office. Picture: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
7/8 2014: European election success
Ukip got a higher proportion of the vote than any other party in 2014's European elections, adding 11 new MEPs and taking its total to 24. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
8/8 2014: Carswell defects
Douglas Carswell defected from Ukip at the end of August, and was followed by Mark Reckless at the end of September, who resigned from the Tories amid rumours of many more defections to come. Picture: REUTERS/Toby Melville
Sir James founded the Dyson household goods engineering company, which is named after him.
There have been suggestions by some prominent eurosceptics that Sir James should lead the 'out' campaign for the EU referendum because of his business credential.
Founded in 1993 the inventor's firm had revenue of over £6bn in 2013 and employs over 4,500 people.
Mr Kassam left his job at Ukip last month after a row over Mr Farage's leadership and a series of anonymous briefings by Ukip colleagues against each other.
David Cameron has pledged to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union by 2017.Reuse content