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Who’s Who: UKIP’s Leadership Election 2016

After Farage’s resignation last month, nominations for the UKIP leadership election opened on 11th July and closed on 31st in great controversy, with the favourite Steven Woolfe missing the deadline and his appeal being majorly rejected by the party’s NEC. Campaigning will run throughout this month, with a series of hustings and media appearances. Ballot papers will be issued on 1st September to every party member, with the winner to be declared at the party’s conference on 15 September

Who’s Running?

  • Jonathan Arnott, MEP for North East England
  • Phillip Broughton, UKIP candidate for Hartlepool in 2015
  • Lisa Duffy, Town & District Councillor for Ramsey; Chief of Staff for Patrick O’Flynn
  • Bill Etheridge, MEP for the West Midlands
  • Diane James, Co-Deputy Chair of UKIP since 2016; MEP for South East England
  • Elizabeth Jones, UKIP NEC Member; UKIP Lambeth Deputy Chair

Members who couldn’t stand:

  • Suzanne Evans, Co-Deputy Chair of UKIP 2014–2016  was suspended from UKIP in March, and obviously, now cannot stand
  • Douglas Carswell, UKIP’s only MP (Clacton)  was not allowed to run as he has not been a party member for at least five years, a controversial new rule introduced by the NEC.
  • Mark Reckless, UKIP Economics Spokesman (has also not been a party member for at least five years)
  • Steven Woolfe, UKIP Migration Spokesman and MEP for North West England missed nomination deadline by 17 minutes, and despite overwhelming support, was not allowed to run.

Support for Woolfe was high, and Reckless and Carswell are almost certainly greater household names than those who are standing.  The opinions of these candidates are much harder to track down than your average MP, as they have no long public voting record to go through, but the majority of them have courted controversy in some way or another.

So who are these political non-entities due to take on one of England’s most important radical parties?


Diane James.

James is tipped to succeed Nigel Farage following a very strong performance in the Eastleigh by-election, coming second only to the Lib Dems in 2013 and beating the Conservative candidate.

Age: 56
Former profession: Health professional
Party Role: MEP for SE England and the party’s spokeswoman on justice and home affairs.
Controversy: Poor performance in the EU Referendum, and praised Vladmir Putin on the radio, saying “I admire him from the point of view that he’s standing up for his country.” Asked if it was because he invades countries she said: No, no. He’s standing up for his country. He’s very nationalistic… I do admire him, he’s a very strong leader, he’s putting Russia first.”
Policies: Make Ukip the ‘enterprise party’ and overhaul the party machine. She’s pretty conventionally UKIP and hard to pin down.
Odds on Day One: 1/3


Lisa Duffy

The self proclaimed “grassroots candidate” and a “common sense and centre-right” candidate is backed by Suzanne Evans, and MEP Patrick O’Flynn.

Age: 48
Former Profession: TK Maxx Manager
Party Role: Town & District Councillor for Ramsey
Controversy: Has called for a total ban on Muslim faith schools on security grounds. Despite promising Jewish and Christian schools would be exempt, she said:”That doesn’t mean I am picking on British Islam. If you think about what our security services are looking at – 2,000 individuals that have come from those faith schools – when does indoctrination start?”
Policies: Make prisoners serve their full term in jail and block foreigners from using the NHS (although she has been vague on the specifics of this.
Odds on Day One: 5/1


Jonathan Arnott

A chess candidate master, who attended Sheffield Univeristy when he was 15, Arnott wants to reach out to Brexit voters who didn’t vote for UKIP, although how he intends to do this is not yet certain, beyond his firm assertions that “Brexit means Brexit”

: 35
Former Profession: Teacher
Party Role: Former general secretary of the party, MEP for NE England
Controversy: Nothing of note
Policies: Reach out to northern voters and scrap university tuition fees for science, tech, engineering, maths and medicine.
Odds on Day One: 7/1


Bill Etheridge

Etheridge has called for an end to “cronyism and infighting” within Ukip and has said it needs a “unifying leader” – perhaps taking inspiration from Labour’s “Unity Candidate(s)”. His phenomenal slogan is “Billieve in Bill”.

Age: 46
Former Profession: Teacher
Party Role: Former general secretary of the party, MEP for NE England
Controversy: He  was barred from the Conservative party in 2011 after posing for a picture with a golliwog doll. He later went on to publish a pamphlet, Britain – A Post-Political Correctness Society, in which he celebrated the offensive dolls. He has also been criticised for called Adolf Hitler “the most magnetic and forceful public speaker possibly in history” in a seminar with young members about how to do public speaking in 2014, suggesting he could be studied for future speeches. He said: “Hitler was an evil, monstrous tyrant but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t good at public speaking. I wish he hadn’t been, but we must be able to discuss historical figures without being slurred as agreeing with them.”.
Policies: Etheridge supports a ban on the burka in public and on kosher and halal slaughter, the return of the death penalty, cheaper beer and stringent restrictions on the privileges of prisoners, including suspending all visits for the first six months of a prisoner’s sentence and a rent charge of £40k annually.
Odds on Day One: 50/1


Elizabeth Jones

“Eschew misogyny! Embrace modernity! 35 percent of UK MEPs are female and for whatever reason not one is Ukip.”, said Ms Jones in 2014, while campaigning to be an MP. Jones is very much an outside candidate.

Age: Although she’s not made this information particularly easy to find, claiming she’s anywhere “From 18 to infinity”, she is 50.
Former Profession
Party Role:
UKIP NEC Member; UKIP Lambeth Deputy Chair
Embarrassingly and rather spectacularly lost her temper on the radio during a debate, shouting “will you just shut up” (skip to 13:45 here)

Less controversially, but strangely, Jones also defended the party’s stance on refugees as “not extremist at all”, adding: “Nigel Farage was in fact a Huguenot so he was a French Protestant who had to come to this country for protection so in his own blood, in his DNA, there is that understanding inherently for protection of refugees.”
Policies: Standing on a platform of “significant internal reform” to make the party more democratic but said she stands by much of Ukip’s 2015 General Election manifesto. She wants to focus on “trade, trade, trade” (clearly she needs a few more lessons from Mr Blair).
Odds on Day One:


Philip Broughton

Self proclaimed “young, passionate, northern, working class guy”, this semi-professional wrestler has flailed around, trying to win over the media in what I can only hope are attempts at humour, including one in which he describes himself as being “cleverer”, “better looking” and “more charismatic” than anyone else – Although he’s claimed many this video is him “in character”.

Age: 32
Former Profession:
Tesco Supervisor, Semi-Professional Wrestler!
Party Role:
He contested the constituency of Hartlepool at the 2015 General Election, earning the party second place and a 21% swing.
The above video in which he also boasted about a £1,000 suit, walking past terraced houses saying “we could probably buy this whole town” and complaining “common, filthy hands” had touched a pedestrian crossing button. As stated above, he told the Teesside Gazette he was simply in character as his wrestler persona “The One and Only Phillip Alexander”. Perhaps not the greatest branding strategy for a leadership candidate.
Reach out beyond Brexit voters and cancel all foreign aid spending until every homeless Brit gets a house
Odds on Day One:



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