Ukip's Suzanne Evans fails to get suspension overturned

Former deputy chairwoman given six-month ban after criticising fellow party member

Suzanne Evans shares a laugh Ukip leader Nigel Farage

Former Ukip deputy chairwoman Suzanne Evans has failed to get the High Court to overturn her six-month suspension from the party.

The ban, given for an alleged "number of specific complaints", says The Guardian, will stop her running as a candidate in May's London Assembly elections.

She had been seeking an injunction preventing the suspension from taking effect until after nominations closed at the end of March.

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On Wednesday, Ukip confirmed that a disciplinary meeting had found Evans had publicly criticised a fellow candidate and presented herself as a party spokesman without authority.

She signed a petition last month calling on the party to deselect London Assembly candidate Alan Craig for making anti-gay remarks.

Once tipped to be next Ukip leader, Evans said she was "stunned and distressed" by the decision, which casts a spotlight on the divisions within the anti-EU party.

In her court filing, she accused Ukip leader Nigel Farage of a "vendetta".

Evans was "dumped yesterday in the latest twist to a vicious civil war blazing in the right-wing group", reports The Sun. "Insiders said it appeared she was paying the price for daring to challenge Ukip chief Nigel Farage."

She supports the Vote Leave group in the EU referendum campaign, while he is behind rival Brexit group Grassroots Out.

As well as Evans, Farage and his allies are suspicious of Douglas Carswell, the party's only MP, says The Guardian.

However, former communications chief Patrick O'Flynn, a Ukip MEP, has led the efforts to get Evans reinstated.

Responding to the suspension, Farage told Sky News his colleague had gone "from being a popular figure in Ukip to become a very unpopular figure by constantly criticising, not just the leader, but the party [and] its direction".

He added: "Sometimes [people] say and do things that perhaps they shouldn't."

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