Suzanne Evans has today been appointed as Deputy Chairman of UKIP, with broad-reaching responsibility including contributing to policy development and overseeing campaign direction. She has become a well-known UKIP figure in recent months with many successful TV and radio appearances and the NEC voted unanimously to grant her the title in today's meeting. She was previously the party's Communities Spokesman.
Suzanne has a background in journalism, marketing and in the charitable sector, and this combined with her experience as a former councillor will bring great insight to the party in the crucial run up to the General Election.
A highly popular figure inside the party, Suzanne has great support among UKIP MEPs, staff, UKIP's youth movement and from the membership at large.
Her appointment marks a key point in UKIP's development since the party topped the polls in the 2014 European Elections, with 24 MEPs in every constituency in Scotland, England and Wales.
Party Leader Nigel Farage greeted the appointment:
"Suzanne's calibre is undeniable. We know that the other parties would love to have anyone with her presence, experience and top class perfomance record. She has already proven herself to be a huge asset to UKIP and we are all very excited about her coming on board in a far more integrated and full time role. This should silence critics once and for all that UKIP does not appeal to women and is run by retired half colonels, a misconception that has long dogged the party's image. We are a young, up and coming political force with a multi-talented team of all ages, in which women play a highly significant role."
Suzanne spoke of her appointment, calling it 'an unexpected and great honour.'
'I'm completely overwhelmed by the faith UKIP has shown in me and I'll do my best to do the party proud," she said. "The longer I'm in Nigel's People's Army, the more I realise the huge amount we have to offer in terms of straightforward, fair, common sense policies that contrast sharply with the failed, broken promises and meaningless soundbites we get from the other main political parties. It's clear UKIP is setting the national political agenda: the next step is getting heard right at the heart of Westminster, from inside the House of Commons, and I'm delighted to have a role helping that come about.'