Raheem kassam

Ukip is missing an amazing chance

There was a comedy programme about Nigel Farage on the BBC this week, entitled Nigel Farage Gets His Life Back. Purporting to be a Swiftian satire about how Ukip’s former leader would cope with life beyond the political fray, it was, as usual, a case of the corporation sneering at a man who has a decent claim to being the most successful British politician of the modern age and, by extension, sneering at the four million or so Ukip voters and indeed the 52 per cent of the population who voted Leave. In other words, a very large proportion of the BBC’s licence payers, whom the BBC resolutely despises. All

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.

How Breitbart hijacks right-wing populism

The news that Donald Trump’s new campaign manager is Steve Bannon, head of the right-wing media site Breitbart, has shocked a few commentators. It shouldn’t. For almost a year now, it’s been obvious to anybody who can be bothered to look that the Trump campaign and Breitbart fit together like hand in glove, though who is the hand and who is the glove is harder to fathom. Bitter ex-Breitbart employees now call the site ‘Trump’s Pravda’. The name seems to have been coined by Ben Shapiro, one of Breitbart’s more successful journalists, who finally had enough and resigned over what he saw as a lack of editorial integrity in the age of the Donald.

Revealed: why Nigel Farage is distancing himself from Arron Banks

Nigel Farage appears to have u-turned about backing one Brexit campaign. At the party’s recent conference in Doncaster, the Ukip leader said he would be standing ‘hand in hand’ with Arron Banks and his Leave.EU group. But on the Sunday Politics yesterday, he gave equal weighting to Vote Leave, the other Brexit effort which launched on Thursday evening out of the Business for Britain campaign group: ‘I support both of them. I listened to what Vote Leave had to say last week. They’re a Westminster based group, making business arguments. Arguing, as I’ve done in this interview, for us to be free to make our own trade deals. That is of value.

Raheem Kassam is more influential than ever (according to website he edits)

Earlier this year Raheem Kassam stood down as Nigel Farage’s senior aide after he became involved in a dispute within Ukip over his influence on the party leader following a lacklustre election result. Since then, Kassam has returned to the job he had before he joined Ukip, editing the website Breitbart London. So Mr S was surprised to learn that despite losing his job in politics, Kassam has not lost any political sway. In fact according to Iain Dale’s new list of the ‘Top 100 most influential people on the right’ he is more influential than ever, climbing up 14 places from No.96 last year to No.82 this year: Such is Kassam’s power as a blogger

Ukip accused of being too politically correct (yes, really)

Ukip have been accused of being too politically correct. Yes, you did just read that sentence correctly. In a somewhat bizarre scenario, Nigel Farage’s former senior aide Raheem Kassam has taken issue with the phrasing of a new list of appointments in the party. After Ukip released a press release announcing new positions, including Mark Reckless’s appointment as the party’s Economic Spokesperson, Kassam — who ceased working for Ukip after the election because of in-fighting in the party — reacted online. Kassam’s issue wasn’t with the people hired — or even the press release — but instead the fact ‘spokesperson’ had been used on the accompanying graphics instead of ‘spokesman’. He claims that the gender

Podcast: Angela Merkel’s burden, Ukip’s American flirtation and Gove’s grammar rules

This podcast is sponsored by Berry Bros, The Spectator’s house red. Germany has just as much to worry about from a Grexit as Greece. On this week’s View from 22 podcast, economist Fredrik Erixon and James Forsyth discuss this week’s Spectator cover feature on the challenges Angela Merkel faces to keep her beloved European project on the road. It also presents an opportunity for David Cameron to get a better deal for Britain during his renegotiations — can he make the most of the present situation? Freddy Gray and Owen Bennett, author of Following Farage, also discuss Ukip’s flirtation with the American right and the impact it had on the party’s election performance. What role did Farage’s ex-senior adviser Raheem Kassam

Suzanne Evans ‘unsacked’ as Ukip spokesman

Those Kippers just can’t decide whether to stay or go. Suzanne Evans, Ukip’s deputy chairman, was yesterday banned from representing the party, according to a leaked internal email. Evans upset some in the party after telling the Daily Politics that Farage can be perceived as ‘divisive figure.’ But the party has just released a statement to the contrary: ‘Suzanne Evans has not been sacked as a UKIP spokesman. The email seen by the BBC was issued without proper authority.’ What’s going on here? At present, Ukip is full of murmurings of plots and backstabbing, which have manifested themselves in this latest episode. Despite losing her job as Head of Policy, Evans is still perceived by

Nigel Farage gets his revenge with the return of Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson has returned to his role as Ukip’s general secretary today. The party told the BBC in a statement, ‘Matt has resumed the role… by law any constituted political party must have a party secretary who is a qualified lawyer.’ This might not seem like big news — Steerpike reported that Richardson would be returning last week — but it does show that Nigel Farage’s authority has been restored within the party. During the Ukip briefing wars following the general election, several senior Ukip figures left their jobs or were sacked: comms chief Paul Lambert, senior advisor Raheem Kassam, economics spokesman Patrick O’Flynn and head of policy Suzanne Evans. Although

Ukip sources hit back at Raheem Kassam’s comments on plots and money

Raheem Kassam has blown open the doors on the mad world of Ukip in an interview with The Guardian’s Rowena Mason. A former aide to Nigel Farage, Kassam was the Ukip leader’s righthand man during the election campaign and still remains very close to the leader. But during the briefing wars following Farage’s ‘unresignation’, Kassam became a lightening rod for criticism and eventually left the party. The interview offers his honest take on what’s been going on in Ukip and where the party needs to change. But some Kippers are disputing his characterisation of recent events. The first point of contention is over whether there was a plot to oust Farage as leader. As the Guardian article says: Kassam claims that even


Farage’s former aide lets rip about working for Ukip: ‘I totally regret it’

The Ukip civil war may be over for now but that doesn’t mean its casualties aren’t still reeling in the aftermath. Nigel Farage’s former aide Raheem Kassam has carried out a ‘tell-all’ interview with the Guardian, after he was forced to step down last month. Speaking about his time working for Ukip, Kassam offers some parting shots against those who crossed him, saying he ‘totally’ regrets the experience: ‘I don’t mean it was a horrible experience. But I’ve taken a big hit for nothing. The only good thing that’s come out of this are friendships … But have I got anything else apart from looking at much of Ukip and thinking you

Nigel Farage rejigs his team and hires Michael Heaver as press aide

Nigel Farage has made made some changes to his core team. After the Ukip wars, his senior aide Raheem Kassam left the party and has been replaced by Michael Heaver. From today, he will be dealing with media queries for the leader’s office and running his social media accounts. Heaver previously worked in the party’s press office, before standing as an MEP last year and subsequently running Tim Aker’s campaign in Thurrock. I interviewed him last year about what it’s like to be a young kipper. Heaver however will not be taking over all of Kassam’s responsibilities. Chris Bruni-Lowe, who was Head of Campaigns during the election campaign, will continue to

Ukip’s Suzanne Evans: ‘nobody wants Nigel to leave’

Ukip’s internal warfare continues today with interventions from both sides. Suzanne Evans, the party’s deputy chairman, appeared on the Andrew Marr Show this morning to play down the tensions. She told Andrew Marr that the situation has been overegged: ‘I don’t think anyone hates anyone, I genuinely don’t. I think we’ve had some problems with some advisers around Nigel who very much kept him in their pocket if you like and he’s had too much influence from them. But they’ve gone.’ She singled out Raheem Kassam, Farage’s ex-senior advisor, who she happily noted has left the party and returned to work for Breitbart, a ‘far right, Tea Party, American style shock-and-awe publication’ where she

Raheem Kassam un-sacked as Nigel Farage’s senior adviser

Raheem Kassam, senior adviser to Nigel Farage, has not been ‘sacked’ from Ukip after all. It was reported earlier this afternoon that he had left the party today — as Patrick O’Flynn appeared to be asking for. But the party is being careful with its language. The party’s press office are simply saying: ‘Raheem Kassam is no longer working for Ukip’ This is technically correct: he is not ‘working’ for Ukip as he is currently on holiday in New York. Kassam has released his own statement, pointing out that he was only employed for the election campaign and his contract was due to finish at the end of the month: ‘I was GE2015 staff. My

Breaking: Ukip not in crisis

After the Ukip MEP Janice Atkinson was suspended from her party following claims that a member of her staff tried to get a fake receipt to increase an expense claim, media pundits have claimed that Ukip is in crisis. However, according to Nigel Farage’s right hand man, this is not the case.  Raheem Kassam has taken to Twitter to say that things are going so swimmingly for Ukippers that he even has time to play on his Xbox, while members of the press office have been spending time in the pub. That’s all cleared up then.

Senior Farage aide misses flight back to Britain

Nigel Farage’s gallivanting around in America has resulted in a casualty. Mr Steerpike hears that Raheem Kassam, senior adviser to Farage, missed the flight back home last night. Farage’s right-hand man therefore won’t make it back in time for the leader’s big speech in Margate this afternoon. As the founding editor of Brietbart London, Kassam was key in arranging the speaking slot at CPAC, a conference that just happens to be sponsored by Breitbart. With Farage due on stage in just a few hours, the timing of the trip to Maryland has been questioned by several kippers — especially after the Ukip leader spoke to a nearly half empty room. Some wonder whether he might have better spent his time preparing