EXCLUSIVE: UKIP National Executive Says Leadership Candidates Must Be 5-Year-Long Party Members

Reuters/Luke MacGregor

LONDON, United Kingdom – The UK Independence Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) have voted on a time limit that effectively blocks leadership candidates who have not been party members for at least five years.

Breitbart London can reveal that last night, the NEC voted electronically, to stop members becoming leadership candidates passed with a “firm majority” according to sources at the top of the party.

Effectively, the ruling means that candidates like Suzanne Evans, Douglas Carswell, and Arron Banks can not stand as leader. Sources close to the party have told Breitbart London that the vote could potentially be appealed, but perhaps only through Britain’s legal system.

Writing for Breitbart London, long-standing UKIP activist Michael Heaver reports: “As to just who will stand, a ruling by the National Executive Committee (NEC) last night will mean that a five-year minimum membership term has been put in place. In a young party such as UKIP that has experienced rapid growth this is massively significant.

“It would rule out for instance London Assembly Members Peter Whittle and David Kurten, who had both mulled the idea of standing. One wonders if Neil Hamilton, who has allies on the NEC and has been a long-time UKIP member, is now considering a tilt at the top job.

“Suzanne Evans would also would not meet the five-year term even if her suspension was lifted and it would also mean the likes of Arron Banks and Raheem Kassam, of this parish, couldn’t stand either.

“So this race is wide open and truly a wild west shoot out unlike much we’ve ever seen come before. Huge feet to fill, a highly volatile field and format and just a few short months until the new Leader is elected on September 15th. Just who will that next leader be? At this stage, your guess is as good as mine.”

Party sources have told Breitbart London today that while the National Executive may have voted in favour of the decision, many members will perceive this as further evidence that the NEC has overstepped its remit and needs to be dissolved.

This is an idea that was pushed by the outgoing leader Nigel Farage some months ago, and backed by Suzanne Evans yesterday during her interview on LBC.

“It looks too much like a stitch-up,” said one senior source. “If the members don’t want people who joined less than 5 years ago they should be able to make their minds up themselves”.