Suzanne Evans

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Suzanne Evans
Suzanne Evans Chatham House Special Debate.jpg
Evans speaking at a Chatham House debate on the EU referendum, May 2016
UKIP Health Spokesperson
In office
1 December 2016 – 11 June 2017
Leader Paul Nuttall
Steve Crowther (Acting)
Preceded by Louise Bours
Succeeded by Julia Reid
Deputy Chair of the UK Independence Party
Chair of the UKIP Policy Committee
In office
29 November 2016 – 11 June 2017
Served with The Earl of Dartmouth
Leader Paul Nuttall
Steve Crowther (Acting)
Preceded by Diane James
Succeeded by Vacant
In office
4 August 2014 – 24 February 2016
Served with Neil Hamilton
Leader Nigel Farage
Preceded by Office established
Succeeded by Diane James
Personal details
Born February 1965 (age 53)
Political party Conservative (before 2013)
UK Independence Party (2013–present)
Alma mater Lancaster University

Suzanne Elizabeth Evans (born February 1965)[1] is an English journalist and a politician associated with the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

On 6 May 2010, she was elected as a Conservative councillor in the London Borough of Merton Council.[2] She resigned the Conservative whip on 15 May 2013,[3] and then became a councillor with UKIP from 29 May 2013[4] to 22 May 2014.[5]

Evans was Deputy Chair of UKIP from 2014 to 2016 and 2016 to 2017,[6] with Neil Hamilton and later The Earl of Dartmouth.[7] She was suspended from the party between March and September 2016 and was unable to run in its September 2016 leadership election before being re-appointed to the post of Deputy Chairman by Paul Nuttall. She was one of the three candidates in the party's November 2016 leadership election. She was a spokeswoman for the party and the co-author of its election manifesto in 2015 and 2017.

She stood as the UKIP candidate in the Shrewsbury and Atcham constituency in the 2015 General Election.

Early life[edit]

Suzanne Elizabeth Evans[8] was born in February 1965.[1] Her father ran a watchmaking firm in Roushill in Shrewsbury, and her mother was a teacher.[9]

Evans was educated at Baschurch Secondary Modern School, a state school in the village of Baschurch in Shropshire, now known as the Corbet School, and then at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College. She won a place at Lancaster University (1985–1987), from which she graduated with a BA in Religious Studies.[10][better source needed]

Media career[edit]

Evans trained as a journalist with the BBC and worked for BBC Radio in various roles from 1987 to 1999. On BBC Radio 4, these included being a reporter and presenter on the Sunday programme and a reporter for Woman's Hour and for the Today programme.

She also worked for BBC Radio 5, for the BBC World Service and also in several roles on BBC Local Radio.[10]

Since January 2000, Evans has worked as a freelance public relations (PR) and marketing consultant, as Suzanne Evans Communications.[11] She was also communications director at Aquarius PR, from March 2006 to May 2013.[10]

Political life[edit]

Evans began her political career as a councillor for the London Borough of Merton in May 2010. She was elected as a Conservative councillor but resigned from the party in May 2013, citing a "poisonous war" within the party.[11][12] She switched her allegiance to the UK Independence Party, but lost her seat a year later.

She soon became UKIP's deputy chairwoman and head of policy, between July 2014 and February 2016.[13] She was primarily responsible for writing the UKIP 2015 manifesto after she took over the job from Tim Aker.[14][15] Her success in producing a coherent and credible manifesto, after the debacle of the party's 2010 manifesto,[16] and her confident presentation of the completed document, prompted speculation that she might stand as leader of the party, should Nigel Farage resign after the 2015 general election. She was obliged to deny that any such bid was contemplated.[14][17][18]

In 2014, Evans blamed poor UKIP support in London on the city's high number of "educated, cultured and young". She explained that she thought that in London, voters were "more likely, I think, to have read some of the negative press that's been about us, and I think they'd be more likely to believe it" whereas outside London people were more cynical about media reporting.[19] In April 2015, Evans blamed the British housing shortage on increased demand caused by mass migration, a theory also repeated by Nigel Farage in election debates.

Evans was the UKIP candidate for the Shrewsbury and Atcham constituency in the 2015 general election,[20] finishing third with 14.4% of the total vote.[21]

After the 2015 general election[edit]

On 8 May 2015, Nigel Farage recommended her as the Interim Leader of UKIP following his resignation, but within three days the National Executive Committee of the party had rejected the Farage resignation and so he remained leader.[22]

On 18 June 2015, following comments made by Evans on the BBC's Daily Politics, Evans commented that the public had a "perceived divisive" view of Nigel Farage. The UKIP press office then withdrew Evans as a media commentator for UKIP, pending an internal inquiry.[23]

On 23 March 2016, while still on the UKIP party list for the 2016 London Assembly election, Evans was suspended for six months from the party by UKIP's internal disciplinary committee.[24] She, in turn, began legal action in the High Court against the decision, on the grounds that rules were allegedly being abused.[24] Her six-month suspension from the party lapsed on 23 September.

UKIP leadership bid[edit]

In October 2016, Evans launched her bid to become leader of UKIP following the resignation of Diane James after 18 days in the job. Launching her campaign on The Andrew Marr Show, Evans said she'd be the "strong centre" and described herself and fellow candidate Paul Nuttall as "Team Sensible" compared to fellow candidate Raheem Kassam, following extreme comments from the soon-to-resign leadership candidate. When the results were announced, on 28 November 2016, she came a distant second out of the remaining three, and lost her deposit with 19.3% of the vote.

Charity work[edit]

Evans founded the Lipoedema UK charity in 2011, after discovering that she suffers from the condition.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Suzanne Elizabeth EVANS – Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)". Beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. 8 July 2014. Archived from the original on 6 February 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  2. ^ Merton Electorate and Turnout (London Borough Council Election – 6 May 2010) (PDF), London Borough of Merton (published 2014), 6 May 2010, archived from the original (PDF) on 23 December 2014, retrieved 30 June 2015 
  3. ^ Lauren May (17 May 2013), "Defection to UKIP 'strong possibility' for former Merton Conservatives deputy leader Councillor Suzanne Evans", Wimbledon Guardian, archived from the original on 4 March 2016 
  4. ^ Mark McAleer, Chairman, UKIP Merton, UK Independence Party (29 May 2013), "Letter to the Editor: UKIP welcomes Merton councillors Richard Hilton and Suzanne Evans", Wimbledon Guardian, archived from the original on 26 April 2015, retrieved 30 June 2015 
  5. ^ London Borough of Merton (May 2014), Local Elections – Thursday 22 May 2014, archived from the original on 29 May 2014 
  6. ^ UK Independence Party (4 August 2014), UKIP appoints Suzanne Evans as Deputy Leader, archived from the original on 6 August 2014, retrieved 30 June 2015 
  7. ^ Neil Hamilton: UKIP election strategy and no Tory pact, BBC News, 1 October 2013, archived from the original on 13 October 2015, retrieved 30 June 2015 
  8. ^ Shrewsbury and Atcham constituency candidates. Archived 18 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Shrewsbury Council. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  9. ^ About Suzanne. Archived 18 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Suzanne Evans, UKIP, 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  10. ^ a b c Suzanne Evans. LinkedIn. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  11. ^ a b "Who is Ukip's Suzanne Evans?". The Telegraph. 15 April 2015. Archived from the original on 18 April 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "Defection to UKIP 'strong possibility' for former Merton Conservatives deputy leader Councillor Suzanne Evans". Archived 18 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Lauren May, Wimbledon Guardian, 17 May 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  13. ^ "Ukip deputy chair Suzanne Evans: Mansion Tax is "equally unconscionable" to the Bedroom Tax". Newstatesman.com. 9 February 2015. Archived from the original on 18 April 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  14. ^ a b Ben Quinn (15 April 2015). "Ukip's Suzanne Evans enjoys profile boost after manifesto launch | Politics". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 18 April 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  15. ^ UKIP replaces policy chief before election. Archived 18 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Andrew Osborn, Reuters, 21 January 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  16. ^ Jon Stone (19 March 2014). "People are touting Ukip's Suzanne Evans as the party's next leader – but who is she? – UK Politics – UK". Independent.co.uk. Archived from the original on 17 April 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  17. ^ General Election 2015: Suzanne Evans dismisses suggestions of Ukip leadership bid as 'rubbish'. Archived 15 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Jamie Merrill, The Independent, 19 April 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  18. ^ "Rising star reveals Ukip as more than a one-man show" Lucy Fisher, The Times, 16 April 2015. Retrieved 20 April 2015. (subscription required)
  19. ^ Losing Ukip councillor blames poor London polls on 'cultured elite'. Archived 21 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Rowena Mason, The Guardian, 23 May 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  20. ^ "Ukip announces its Shrewsbury election candidate" Archived 10 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Shropshire Star, 29 May 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  21. ^ "Shrewsbury & Atcham Parliamentary constituency". BBC News Online. Archived from the original on 11 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  22. ^ "UKIP Rejects Nigel Farage's Resignation". Sky News. 11 May 2015. Archived from the original on 12 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  23. ^ "UKIP's Suzanne Evans facing the sack after Farage comments". Bbc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  24. ^ a b Mason, Rowena (23 March 2016). "Ukip's Suzanne Evans suspended for disloyalty". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 23 March 2016. Retrieved 23 March 2016. 
  25. ^ "Patrons & Lipoedema UK Board | Lipoedema UK". Lipoedema.co.uk. Archived from the original on 19 April 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 

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