UKIP’s Suzanne Evans to stand for London mayor
After a bumpy few months in the UKIP ranks in the wake of a disappointing general election result, deputy chairman Evans said party boss Nigel Farage was “very pleased” she had decided to put her name forward.
She claimed to be “realistic” about her chances of success, but suggested she may “get lucky” if Londoners conflated their concerns about immigration to the capital with EU membership.
Evans told LBC Radio on Wednesday: “Let’s be realistic, I don’t think London is going to have a UKIP mayor any time soon.
“You never know, I could be very lucky.”
She claimed London needed to have “a different view” and “a different approach.”
“The UKIP vote is growing quite strongly in London, we are doing increasingly well in the general election, we did very well in the European elections and I think there [is] a growing amount of people in London who want to see things from a UKIP perspective,” she said.
“London is one of the areas of the country that is very much impacted by EU regulation, which hampers small businesses being developed, it’s hampered by immigration which makes finding a job very difficult and finding housing very difficult.
“I think UKIP will have a fresh voice to bring to some of the issues that affect London,” she added.
During the fallout from May’s general election, UKIP was forced to deny Evans had been sacked after leaked internal emails suggested she had ordered press officers to keep her away from the media.
She was also caught in conflict with Farage after he publicly un-resigned as leader, but insisted there was no bad blood between her and the erratic leader.
“I usually have the support of Nigel Farage. I think there was a lot of nonsense talked about over the general election, a lot of rumors flying around that simply weren’t true.
“In fact I have spoken to him about it and he is very pleased that I am standing, or putting myself forward anyway,” she said.
She will face UKIP’s other nominee, spokesperson Peter Whittle, who has already announced his plan to stand for City Hall.