UKIP candidate Suzanne Evans to run for parliament in Shrewsbury

5:50pm Monday 2nd June 2014

By Louisa Clarence-Smith

UKIP candidate, and recently deposed Hillside member Suzanne Evans will run for parliament in Shrewsbury following her defeat in Merton's council elections.

Ms Evans was elected as a Conservative councillor in Hillside ward in 2010, but defected to UKIP in May last year.

She lost her seat to Tory candidate Daniel Holden with 342 votes to his 1,269 in the elections on Thursday, May 22.

She said: "It's something that I was thinking about for a while once I defected to UKIP. Wimbledon may seem like an obvious seat but for me it wasn't.

"I didn't really expect to win Hillside back. I gave it my best shot."

The day after the elections, Ms Evans admitted on BBC Radio 4 that UKIP was failing to engage with the "more media-savvy, well-educated population in London."

The UKIP communities spokeswoman said she won't be leaving the borough for good though, and will hold on to her Wimbledon property.

She said: "I'm not leaving Merton completely. I already have a place in Shrewsbury because it's where I was brought up, it's my hometown but it absolutely makes sense to run for parliament here and it's a great place to be."

Ms Evans was born and raised in Shrewsbury before moving to London in 1990 to work as a researcher for BBC Radio.

She said she has no regrets about defecting to UKIP, which led to her nomination as UKIP communities spokeswoman and meeting her boyfriend, who is also a UKIP member.

Merton UKIP won no seats in this year's council elections, leaving Richard Hilton as the dominant spokesman in the borough.

She said: "Labour got a big majority. The Conservatives were never very good at tackling them. The people who really did hold Merton to account were me and Richard Hilton.

"He's fully supportive. He knows I'm not going away completely."

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