Diane james

Ukip leader Paul Nuttall confirms he will stand for Parliament

Paul Nuttall has just confirmed he will be standing in the upcoming election. The Ukip leader promised to be ‘leading the party into battle’ on June 8th. Where he stands, we’ll have to wait and see. Nuttall said that he would announce in the next 48 hours which seat he planned to target. In a statement, Nuttall said: ‘As the leader of the party I will be, obviously, leading the party into battle as I have done many times in the past’ Nuttall might now be saying his decision was obvious, but it hasn’t always looked that way. Earlier this week, when journalists tried to pin him down on the question

Diane James’s exit proves costly for Ukip

Here we go again. First Steven Woolfe quit Ukip following a row with his MEP colleagues and now it is the turn of Diane James, the former party leader. James has released a statement announcing that she will sit in the European Parliament as an independent — adding by way of explanation that her relationship with the party has become ‘increasingly difficult’. In reply, Nigel Farage has accused her of ‘irrational selfishness’. Of course, none of this is hugely surprising. James lasted in the role of leader for just 18 days — claiming at the time that despite her election she had no support among the party’s executive. What’s more, Steerpike understands

Portrait of the Week – 6 October 2016

Home Theresa May, the Prime Minister, said at the Conservative party conference that hers was now the party of ‘working-class’ people and would occupy the ‘new centre ground’. She announced that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty would be invoked by next March, beginning the formal process for Britain to leave the European Union. The pound fell to a 31-year low and the FTSE 100 index rose above 7,000 to an 18-month high. Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: ‘We will no longer target a surplus at the end of this Parliament,’ as his predecessor George Osborne had promised, but would spend on housing and transport. More than

Katy Balls

Ukip’s Steven Woolfe ‘conscious and recovering’ after ‘altercation’ in Strasbourg

The latest Ukip leadership contest to succeed Diane James has descended into chaos after Steven Woolfe was rushed to hospital. The Ukip MEP — and leadership hopeful — is reported to have regained consciousness after an incident in European Parliament this morning. In a statement at lunchtime, the party claimed Woolfe had been ‘taken suddenly ill in the European parliament building in Strasbourg this morning’. But was this an entirely honest version of events? Details have since emerged that suggest Woolfe was actually taken to hospital after he was punched by a party colleague — alleged to be the party’s defence spokesman Mike Hookem — at a Ukip meeting. The Telegraph reports that following the blow to

Diane James stands down as Ukip leader

Diane James is standing down as Ukip leader after only 18 days in the job, blaming ‘personal and professional reasons’ and a lack of ‘sufficient authority’ within the party for her decision to quit. James said she didn’t have the backing she needed among fellow Ukip MEPs and party officers, but insisted she would still ‘concentrate fully’ on her role within the European Parliament. In a statement released last night, she said: ‘Having won the enthusiastic support of party members, I was nominated by them as the new leader at the Ukip conference. Since that time, I have been in discussion with party officers about the role. It has become clear that I do

New Ukip leader says Putin is one of her heroes

Diane James, Ukip’s new leader, did her first major TV interview as Ukip leader this morning. And very revealing it was too. When Andrew Neil asked her who her political heroes were other than Vladimir Putin, she did not deny that the Russian leader was one of her heroes. She said that neither Clinton nor Trump were a hero of hers. When Andrew then pushed her on who were her heroes were, she named Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill. Andrew then summed up by saying, your heroes are Putin, Churchill and Thatcher. James said that yes, they were. Here’s the clip.  So, the leader of the UK’s third political party

Nigel Farage says farewell: ‘We brought down a prime minister’

Nigel Farage has just delivered his speech at Ukip conference, in which he declared that he had put ‘absolutely all of me’ into Britain leaving the EU. ‘I literally couldn’t have worked any harder, or couldn’t have been more determined – it’s been my life’s work to get to this point. I want my country back, but now folks I want my life back,’ he said. He went onto claim that Ukip had ‘changed the course of British history’ and suggested that the party had ‘brought down a prime minister’ and had ‘got rid of a chancellor’. On Theresa May’s premiership, he suggested there was a ‘great political battle ahead’, before raising concerns that she

James Forsyth

Diane James is Ukip’s new leader – but will she be haunted by Nigel Farage?

Diane James is the new Ukip leader. The party’s home affairs spokesman won with 8,451 votes. She beat Lisa Duffy into second place by nearly 4,000 votes. Bill Etheridge came third, Phillip Broughton fourth and Liz Jones fifth. James was the frontrunner and her victory was expected given that Steven Woolfe and Suzanne Evans were both barred from running. But James ran one of the least inspiring leadership campaigns in recent political memory. She didn’t announce any new policies and avoided debate at every opportunity. James, as anyone who watched her in the BBC’s young people’s EU debate during the referendum campaign will know, is not as accomplished a media performer as Nigel Farage. She will

Questions over Ukip’s future on the eve of its conference

Ukip’s autumn conference kicks off tomorrow in Bournemouth. With the new leader set to be announced, there had been hopes the two-day event would mark the beginning of a new exciting post-Brexit era for the party. Instead, the party faces questions over whether there should be a second chapter at all. Steve Stanbury, Ukip’s former director, has appeared on the Daily Politics today to announce that he has defected to the Tories. In the interview with Jo Coburn, Stanbury said he believed the party’s best days were behind it now it has achieved the ‘principle objective’ of securing — and winning — an EU referendum. He says he hopes his Ukip colleagues will follow suit and ‘come

Steven Woolfe excluded from Ukip leadership race

Steven Woolfe has been barred from standing for Ukip leader. The party’s national executive committee has ruled that he didn’t submit his nomination papers in time and so is ineligible.   Woolfe’s exclusion from the race is a major blow for Ukip donor, and Leave.EU founder, Arron Banks who had thrown his weight behind Woolfe. Woolfe also had the support of several of those closest to Nigel Farage. This group will not take Woolfe’s exclusion lying down, and will try and find a way to stop the contest or somehow get his name onto the ballot. I wouldn’t even rule out a split if the NEC won’t back down; Banks

Steven Woolfe finds himself in a tight spot

It’s only Tuesday and Steven Woolfe must already be wishing this week was over. After missing the nomination deadline on Sunday, Woolfe will learn today whether his leadership application will be accepted. If that weren’t enough, he is also in the firing line over his lapsed Ukip membership and the Huffington Post‘s revelation that Woolfe broke electoral rules in 2012 by failing to reveal a drink-drive conviction when he stood to be a Police and Crime Commissioner. Still, should Woolfe’s leadership hopes live to survive another day, Mr S understands that he will have to dig deep in order to win round party bean counters. Ukip MEPs are encouraged to regularly donate a portion of their lofty EU

Immigration dominates first BBC EU debate

The Lincoln-Douglas debate it was not, but we have just had the first prime time TV debate of this EU referendum. With Alex Salmond and Alan Johnson for In and Liam Fox and the UKIP MEP Diane James for Out speaking to an audience of 18 to 29 year olds in Glasgow. Many in the audience wanted to complain about the tit for tat tactics of the two sides in this referendum campaign or to condemn the scaremongering by both sides; interestingly, they seemed very sceptical of the Treasury’s forecasts of economic pain if the UK left the EU. One audience member, though, seemed to object to the idea that

Diane James is promoted to Ukip’s new look front bench

Nigel Farage has promoted a slew of women to senior roles in his reshuffle of the Ukip front bench. Diane James, who came close to winning the Eastleigh by-election, becomes the party’s home affairs and justice spokesperson. Louise Bours, a newly elected MEP, takes on the health brief. Her job will be to rebut Labour claims that Ukip wants to privatise the NHS. I understand that she’ll be emphasising Ukip’s commitment to a universal national health service free at the point of use. Jane Collins, who stood for Ukip in the Barnsley and Rotherman by-elections, becomes the spokesperson on employment. While Jill Seymour takes on transport and Margot Parker small