Pearson wins contest to lead UKIP

FORMER Conservative peer Lord Pearson of Rannoch has been elected the leader of the UK Independence Party, taking over from MEP Nigel Farage.Pearson, who was appointed to the Lords by Margaret Thatcher shortly before she was dumped as Prime Minister in 1990, polled 48% in a ballot of members of the anti European Union party.

Graham Dines

FORMER Conservative peer Lord Pearson of Rannoch has been elected the leader of the UK Independence Party, taking over from MEP Nigel Farage.

Pearson, who was appointed to the Lords by Margaret Thatcher shortly before she was dumped as Prime Minister in 1990, polled 48% in a ballot of members of the anti European Union party.

After he advised voters to back UKIP in the 2004 European Parliament elections, Pearson had the Tory whip removed.


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In a message to party members after the election result was declared, he said the Lisbon Treaty - the successor document to the failed European Constitution, was the last nail in the coffin of Britain's

Pearson, who is 67, founded insurance brokerage Pearson Webb Springbett, now PWS, and remains honorary president.

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UKIP has yet to win a seat at Westminster, which means its past leaders have never been MPs. He continues that tradition but crucially, as a member of the House of Lords, he has ready access to the political media in parliament.

Farage resigned as leader in order to devote his time not only to his duties as a Euro MP for the South East region, but for his campaign to stand against Commons Speaker John Bercow at the general election.

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