Speaking to LBC’s Tom Swarbrick just moments after suspended Suzanne Evans’s tirade against UKIP members, Breitbart London editor-in-chief Raheem Kassam said he believes it is right that Ms. Evans remains suspended and accused her of having her own Theresa May-style “Nasty Party” moment.
Earlier in the show on Sunday afternoon, Ms. Evans took aim at UKIP’s membership, its National Executive Committee (NEC), and its outgoing leader Nigel Farage, claiming that she wanted to represent the party to make it more “centrist”.
Her tirade caused Kassam to phone in to LBC to oppose her claims.
“I think [her suspension] is right having seen the evidence and the National Executive Committee and the disciplinary panels both thought it was right. What is more important is that the High Court thought it was right. She took an appeal to the High Court to appeal against the suspension and the court also fonud that it was right”.
He added: “She’s just had a go at the NEC, she’s just had a go at the membership. People know that she tried to get Alan Craig deselected, David Kurten deselected as London candidates. This is somebody who doesn’t have any affinity to the party, but has an affinity with being the leader of a party.
“She supports Andrea Leadsom in the upcoming Conservative election contest, so do I, but I find it extraordinary, she’s just had her own Theresa May ‘nasty party’ moment. She has just effectively attacked the UKIP base.
Mr. Kassam said that the party needs a uniter, not someone who attacks the party.
And he warned that abandoning the rules inside the party could cause anyone to stand for leader.
“If UKIP… or anyone in the upper echelons of the party now decides that they’re not going to abide by the suspension terms, that they’re going to overturn and change the rules as a special case for Suzanne Evans then I’m afraid people will lose confidence in the way the party is run. It cannot be done. She had an appeal, she withdrew the appeal. End of story”.
Asked if he thought Ms. Evans could win a leadership contest, Kassam said: “I’m one of the people who think if she were to challenge she would lose and lose quite badly.” Mr. Swarbrick asked, “Would she lose for instance, against you?”
“I think she would lose magnificently against me,” Kassam replied.
“Do you want to go for it?” asked Swarbrick.
“I think if they threw the rules out the window and say anybody can now stand and she’s in the running, then I would run against her. Absolutely.”
And on Suzanne Evans’s claim that UKIP should “move on” from immigration, Kassam replied: “I don’t buy the idea that UKIP only wants to talk about immigration… I buy the idea that the media only wants to talk about UKIP with regards to immigration.
He added: “The point is this. We have a Brexit negotiation that is going to take place between now and the next general election. The concern that UKIP members have is that we have a pseudo-Brexit negotiation. That we might get out of the European Union but we’ll also have to take freedom of movement… I would argue that when it comes to Brexit negotiations it will be the most important sticking point”.