Tom Goodenough Tom Goodenough

Ukip’s leadership race: All the runners and riders

Following Steven Woolfe’s decision to quit Ukip, the party’s prospects don’t look good. Woolfe – who was the frontrunner in Ukip’s leadership contest – said the party was in a ‘death spiral’. And on the basis of a tumultuous summer involving Diane James’s short-lived 18-day reign, a search for meaning after Brexit and that famous ‘altercation’ between Ukip MEPs, it’s hard to disagree. But amidst this turmoil, the hunt for a new leader to replace Nigel Farage is on. So who’s who in the party’s leadership contest?

Suzanne Evans: Ukip’s former deputy chairwoman was barred from standing in the summer’s leadership contest as a result of her suspension from the party. This time around, the party’s NEC has ruled Evans will be allowed to run as a candidate: good news for a party which desperately needs to get its act together and try and broaden its appeal. Evans has vowed to make the party less ‘toxic’ and has previously called on Ukip to ‘break free of its hard-right image and set itself firmly in the common sense centre-ground’: words which could spell trouble for Labour if she’s able to act on them. A former journalist, Evans was first touted as a possible replacement to Farage after she put together Ukip’s manifesto at the 2015 election. It called for an Australian-style points system for migrants and the negotiation of a trading deal with the EU after what was then the hypothetical prospect of leaving the EU. Both policies could offer some insight into how Evans, if she wins the leadership race, may try and hold Theresa May’s feet to the fire in her Brexit negotiations.

Paul Nuttall: A Ukip MEP since 2009, Nuttall has said he is the ‘unity candidate’ able to finally bring the party together.

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