Not just Nigel Farage? Ukip unveils new top team to combat ‘one-man band’ image

 

Once the Newark by-election result is declared on Thursday night, Nigel Farage is about to retreat in the background. Or at least that is his intention.

The Ukip leader has acknowledged his party has the problem of being perceived as a “one-man band” and needs to introduce more of its leading figures to the public.

With that in mind, he is about to appoint a series of spokesmen (or women, but the party prefers the non-PC term) to make the Ukip case in the run-up to next year’s general election.

His new top team is expected to comprise around a dozen men and women covering such areas as defence, health and jobs, although Ukip will stop short of calling it a “Shadow Cabinet”.

At the same time, the party will step up work on a general election manifesto to be launched at its conference in Doncaster in September. It is certain to be shorn of the wilder commitments that adorned previous Ukip policy documents.

 

In making the appointments, Mr Farage has to tackle a second reputational problem. One party source admits: “We know a lot of voters still see us as a party of angry middle-aged men in blazers. Those people still exist but you are going to see less of them. We are determined to promote people more reflective of society.”

That means voters will see fewer of the middle-aged, and older, white men who have previously made up the bulk of the party’s public face.

Neil Hamilton, Ukip’s deputy chairman, is among those who will be sidelined.

New faces: Ukip’s rising stars

Suzanne Evans

A Tory defector who has only been in the party for a year. She was rapidly appointed national communities spokesman.

A former BBC reporter who now runs a PR agency, she has won plaudits within the party for her confidence in front of the camera.

Steven Woolfe

A barrister from Manchester whose father was  mixed-race and mother was white. He was invited to become financial services spokesman before he had even joined Ukip.

Now an MEP, his ethnicity and northern upbringing are in strong contrast to the Ukip stereotype.

Patrick O’Flynn

A former Daily Express journalist who became Ukip’s director of communications and was a strategist behind the Euro-elections campaign.

An experienced performer on television who is close to Mr Farage. With his media background he could become a culture spokesman.

Amjid Bashir

A restaurateur of Pakistani lineage who is one three Ukip MEPs representing Yorkshire and the Humber and currently speaks for the party on small business.

After his election he said: “Here I am... of Asian birth, of Asian parentage, Muslim, and I have been selected by this so-called racist party. It disproves that completely.”

Margot Parker

A local businesswoman who impressed Ukip’s hierarchy with her spirited campaign in the Corby and East Northants by-election 18 months ago. She was elected as an MEP for the East Midlands last week. She has a no-nonsense style which party chiefs believe will be persuasive on the national stage.

Louise Bours

Until her combative appearance alongside Piers Morgan and Joey Barton on Question Time last Thursday, she was one of Ukip’s lesser-known faces. The new MEP for the north-west is a former actress whose full name is Louise van de Bours. Her northern credentials could come in handy in wooing Labour-leaning voters.

Paul Nuttall

Long serving activist from Merseyside who became Ukip’s chairman in 2008 and deputy leader two years later.

He is a key weapon in the party’s attempts to broaden its appeal to working-class voters in the North of England.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - 3-4 Month Fixed Contract - £30-£35k pro rata

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £26,000+

£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager

£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map