The bitter civil war that broke out inside Ukip after the general election flared up again with Suzanne Evans, once seen as Nigel Farage’s likely successor, effectively sacked as a party spokeswoman.
In an interview on BBC2’s Daily Politics show, Ms Evans, the party’s deputy chairwoman, said Mr Farage was a “very divisive character” in terms of the way he was perceived, although she added he was “not divisive as a person”.
That caveat does not appear to have gone down well.
An internal party email, leaked to the BBC, made clear that Ms Evans was to be cut off by the party’s press office. The name of the sender was not revealed.
“I have just spoken to Nigel and in light of Suzanne Evans’ comments on TDP [the Daily Politics] I am issuing this directive,” the email said.
“From this moment onwards, no one employed by the Ukip press office is to have any further contact with SE.
“No bids [for interviews by the media] are to be accepted for SE and she is not to be offered as an official Ukip spokesman. No one is to brief SE or advise her on any issue.”
Asked about Ms Evans’ apparent sacking as a spokesperson, Mr Farage suggested he was not aware of what had happened – despite reports he was “very angry” at Ms Evans’ remarks. “I’ve no idea, I’ve been at the Battle of Waterloo,” he told The Independent.
Asked about the email’s reference to the directive being sanctioned by “Nigel”, Mr Farage said: “All I can say is good for them [the BBC] and good night. Thank you very much.”
Ukip gaffes and controversies
Ukip gaffes and controversies
1/18 European elections poster
Party's latest EU election posters branded 'racist' and compared to BNP campaigns
2/18 Farage 'car-crash' interview
Ukip spin doctor forced to intervene as Farage falters in disastrous radio interview
3/18 Neil Hamilton
Picture Exclusive: The year is 1998. The venue is a Springbok Club meeting. The flag is a symbol for white supremacists in South Africa. And the speaker is Ukip’s deputy chairman, Neil Hamilton
4/18 Kerry Smith
Kerry Smith resigned as would-be MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock after it emerged he had mocked gay party members as “disgusting poofters”, joked about shooting people from Chigwell in a “peasant hunt” and referred to someone with a Chinese name as a “Chinky bird”
5/18 Natasha Bolter
Former Ukip member Natasha Bolter was suspected of not having the teaching qualifications she professed to, only days after it was revealed that claims of her having attended Oxford University were also false
6/18 Ukip Calypso song
Mike Reid released a single in praise of UKIP trying to control the UK's borders, only to withdraw the single after being accused of racism for singing in a Jamaican accent
7/18 Janice Atkinson
Janice Atkinson, Ukip's South East chair, pictured by protesters while campaigning in Ashford, Kent with local party chair Norman Taylor
8/18 Ukip cancels Freephone
Ukip cancels Freephone number after protesters repeatedly called to push up costs
9/18 Farage 'car-crash' interview
Mr Farage appeared to be caught out on a number of issues, from Romanian neighbours to people speaking foreign languages on the train
10/18 Ukip employs illegal immigrants
Ukip criticised after European election candidate found employing illegal immigrants
11/18 Magnus Nielsen
Ukip candidate: 'Take away the right to vote to improve election turnout'
12/18 Poster model
A “British builder” portrayed in a Ukip poster accusing EU workers of taking UK jobs turns out to be an Irish actor - aka a migrant worker
13/18 'Arrest protesters'
Ukip called for police to arrest protesters ‘who call us fascists’ ahead of showdown with anti-fascist groups in Brighton
14/18 London Live make-up
Ukip's Nigel Farage reportedly refused to go on London Live 'without professional make up-artist'
15/18 Andre Lampitt
Ukip forced to suspend the "poster boy" of its European election broadcast, after it was revealed he had posted a series of vile racist comments on Twitter
Nigel Farage says he is taking taking legal advice over “outrageous” allegations that he is responsible for more than £50,000 of “missing” EU funding that was paid directly into his personal bank account
17/18 Have I Got News For You
Nigel Farage appears in Have I Got News For You, spends the entire episode being ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
18/18 Anti-gay comments
Local branch chairman for Ukip defends a party's councillor candidate Douglas Denny who called gay people “abnormal” and said he wished “they stop trying to ram it down my throat”, all while discussing whether the word “sodomite” should be used
On the Daily Politics, Ms Evans suggested the campaign to persuade people to leave the European Union should be led jointly. “Why should one person front it? Why shouldn’t it be Nigel alongside someone from the Labour Party, from the Conservative Party and perhaps from business as well? That I think would be much more convincing,” she said.
“I think Nigel is a very divisive character in terms of the way he is perceived. He’s not divisive as a person but the way he is perceived is as having very strong views that divide people.”Reuse content