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People are touting Ukip's Suzanne Evans as the party's next leader – but who is she?

The parliamentary candidate wrote Ukip's manifesto

Jon Stone
Wednesday 15 April 2015 17:23 BST
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(Getty)

Ukip’s jeering supporters may have stolen the show at its manifesto launch, but of all those on the stage parliamentary Suzanne Evans has caused the most chatter.

“I absolutely congratulate Suzanne Evans and her team for producing this excellent manifesto,” Nigel Farage told reporters at the event.

Ms Evans was the mastermind of the party’s manifesto, which has reportedly been through a lot to reach its current form.

The party’s deputy chair, who is also a candidate for MP, has seen her profile rise in recent weeks, which she cemented today with an assured performance on the podium.

But the PR consultant was in the headlines yesterday for other reasons: immigrant bashing.

Ms Evans used a press conference in London this week to blame migrants for pressure on housing and services – before revealing that she herself owned two and a half houses.

“If we want to have any countryside left for ourselves and others to enjoy, we have to stop uncontrolled immigration and relieve the pressure on demand for housing, schools, healthcare services, transport, policing and the benefits system,” she said.

But she later admitted: “I have a flat in London, I have a flat in and I have a share in a house.”

Ms Evans previously hit headlines when she claimed Ukip wasn’t doing well in London because its population was “more media-savvy and educated”.

Twitter speculation that Ms Evans could be in running to be Ukip’s next leader may not be as implausible as it sounds – Mr Farage may dominate the party now, but he has after all said he would stand down if he does not win in Thurrock next month.

That said, the field is crowded: Ukip has no shortage of good television performers in its upper ranks. Paul Nuttall, the current deputy leader, and Diane James, a former by election candidate, have all previously put in assured appearances.

Ms Evans also lacks elected office, and the seat she is a candidate for - Shrewsbury and Atcham – is not considered particularly winnable.

She still may be one to watch.

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