Suzanne Evans in 2016
|Head of the UKIP Policy Committee|
29 November 2016 – 11 June 2017
|Preceded by||Mark Reckless|
|Succeeded by||Margot Parker|
|Deputy Chair of the |
UK Independence Party
29 November 2016 – 11 June 2017
Serving with The Earl of Dartmouth
|Preceded by||Diane James|
|Succeeded by||The Earl of Dartmouth|
4 August 2014 – 24 February 2016
Serving with Neil Hamilton
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Succeeded by||Diane James|
|UKIP Spokesperson for Health|
1 December 2016 – 11 June 2017
|Preceded by||Louise Bours|
|Succeeded by||Julia Reid|
|Born||February 1965 (age 54)|
|Political party||Conservative (before 2013)|
UK Independence Party (2013–2018)
|Alma mater||Lancaster University|
On 6 May 2010, she was elected as a Conservative councillor in the London Borough of Merton Council. She resigned the Conservative whip on 15 May 2013, and then became a councillor with UKIP from 29 May 2013 to 22 May 2014.
Evans was Deputy Chair of UKIP from 2014 to 2016 and 2016 to 2017, with Neil Hamilton and later The Earl of Dartmouth. 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 resigned from the party in December 2018, over the appointment of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon as an advisor to party leader Gerard Batten.
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 attended Lancaster University (1985–1987), from which she graduated with a BA in Religious Studies.[better source needed]
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.
Since January 2000, Evans has worked as a freelance public relations (PR) and marketing consultant, as Suzanne Evans Communications. She was also communications director at Aquarius PR from March 2006 to May 2013.
Evans began her political career as a member of Merton London Borough Council, elected 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. 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, serving between July 2014 and February 2016. She was primarily responsible for writing the UKIP 2015 manifesto, having taken over the job from Tim Aker. Her success in producing a coherent and credible platform, after the debacle of the party's 2010 manifesto, and her confident presentation of the completed document, prompted speculation that she might stand for leader of the party were Nigel Farage to resign after the 2015 general election. She was obliged to deny that any such bid was contemplated.
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. 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.
After the 2015 general election
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.
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.
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. She, in turn, began legal action in the High Court against the decision, on the grounds that rules were allegedly being abused. Her six-month suspension from the party lapsed on 23 September.
UKIP leadership bid
Evans launched her bid to become leader of UKIP in October 2016, 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.
- "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.
- 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
- 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
- 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 2015CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- London Borough of Merton (May 2014), Local Elections – Thursday 22 May 2014, archived from the original on 29 May 2014
- 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
- 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
- PoliticsHome.com (3 December 2018). "Former Ukip deputy chair Suzanne Evans quits party over Tommy Robinson appointment". PoliticsHome.com.
- Shrewsbury and Atcham constituency candidates. Archived 18 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine Shrewsbury Council. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
- About Suzanne. Archived 18 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine Suzanne Evans, UKIP, 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
- "Who is Ukip's Suzanne Evans?". The Telegraph. 15 April 2015. Archived from the original on 18 April 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
- "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.
- "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.
- 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.
- UKIP replaces policy chief before election. Archived 18 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine Andrew Osborn, Reuters, 21 January 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
- 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.
- 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.
- "Rising star reveals Ukip as more than a one-man show" Lucy Fisher, The Times, 16 April 2015. Retrieved 20 April 2015. (subscription required)
- 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.
- "Ukip announces its Shrewsbury election candidate" Archived 10 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine Shropshire Star, 29 May 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
- "Shrewsbury & Atcham Parliamentary constituency". BBC News Online. Archived from the original on 11 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- "UKIP Rejects Nigel Farage's Resignation". Sky News. 11 May 2015. Archived from the original on 12 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- "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.
- 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.
- "Patrons & Lipoedema UK Board | Lipoedema UK". Lipoedema.co.uk. Archived from the original on 19 April 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015.