UKIP leadership candidate Suzanne Evans has set out her “centrist” platform in a car-crash interview with the left-wing press, slamming elements of the party as bigoted, whilst praising the smoking ban and prosecution of Christians who oppose homosexuality.
Evans promised to make the party “friendlier, more approachable [and] broaden our appeal”, in the interview with the Guardian newspaper, claiming to be the “moderate, sensible” face of UKIP.
Attacking the party she wishes to lead, the Guardian journalist wrote she is “genuinely disgusted, not just embarrassed, by ugly comments periodically reported in the press.”
Abandoning any pretence of upholding right wing or libertarian principles, she said, “I actually really like the smoking ban!” adding: “So I definitely disagree with Nigel on that one.”
“No, good God no, absolutely not”, she said of a suggestion to relax increasingly punitive drink-driving laws. “I am passionately anti-speeding”, she added in relation to speed cameras and driving laws.
Evans initially opposed gay marriage but now says she finds it “charming” and approves of gay couples adopting. “Good parenting is what counts”, she said.
However, she went even further, insisting the religious liberty to opposing gay marriage should be criminalised. She was said to be “delighted” that bed-and-breakfast owners can no longer turn guests away from their homes for religious reasons.
The former Tory councillor also used the interview to repeat her attacks on fellow candidate in the race, Breitbart London Editor-in-Chief, Raheem Kassam, claiming “there is no appetite in the country for his far-right views”.
She accuses him of inventing lies to smear her, “sticking the knife in right left and centre”, and being “incredibly sexist towards me”. However, she would not say if she’d quit the party if he won, “because it’s not going to happen”.
She also denied she would defect back to the Tories. “Not if Raheem were leading the party. I think I’d just give up politics altogether”, she smirked.