A 23-year-old libertarian campaigner and Ukip supporter has died on a backpacking holiday in Thailand.
Christina Annesley, the former vice-chair of the Yorkshire branch of Ukip’s youth wing, was said by her family to have died of natural causes after seeking treatment for a chest infection.
Hundreds of people – including right-of-centre political figures – paid tribute to Ms Annesley yesterday after her mother Margaret, 55, announced her death on Facebook, saying: “We have lost our beautiful daughter Chrissie of natural causes.
“We are totally devastated. We love you so much darling. Rest in peace.”
The right-wing blogger Guido Fawkes said: “A sad day in libertarian circles. The one-time Tory turned ‘Kipper’ turned vocal free spirit was a regular on the young right-wing scene and was just 23 years old.”
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Godfrey Bloom, who served as an Ukip MEP from 2004 to 2014, had the whip withdrawn in 2013 after sexist comments and an attack on a journalist.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
Oliver Cooper, the deputy chairman of Camden Conservatives, wrote: “I didn’t know anyone that didn’t adore her.”
Ms Annesley had been staying on the island of Koh Tao, which became the centre of a murder hunt last September after the British tourists Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, were found bludgeoned to death on one of its beaches.
Ms Annesley’s father, Boyne, told The Independent that the family had been informed by the Foreign Office that his daughter had died from natural causes.
He said: “She tweeted her boyfriend at midnight Thai time on Monday complaining that she had spent £60 on penicillin because she had a chest infection. We never heard from her again. She was due to check out of her bungalow soon, so staff there went round to check on her and found her dead.” After defecting from the Tory party’s youth wing, Conservative Future, in 2012, Ms Annesley joined Ukip’s Young Independence, rising to become vice-chair of its Yorkshire branch.
She described herself to Total Politics magazine in March 2013 as a “libertarian anarcho-capitalist” and argued that young right-wingers could match left-wing rivals for radicalism.
Her outspokenness included blogging in defence of The Sun’s Page 3 last November, arguing that women had the right to express their sexuality as they wished.
Ms Annesley had left Britain on 7 January to spend four months backpacking around Thailand and Australia.
Her father said: “She was just a lovely, lovely daughter; very independent, with her own opinions and real wit. She had a lovely sense of humour.”
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We can confirm the death of a British national in Thailand on 21 January. We are providing consular assistance.”