Nigel Farage, Leader of the UK Independence Party who escaped a plane crash during the UK General Election
Nigel Farage MEP is back at the UKIP helm after comprehensively winning the leadership contest, taking 60.5% of the overall vote.
He beat Professor Tim Congdon (20.2%), David Campbell Bannerman (14%) and Winston McKenzie (5.3%) in a poll of the full UKIP membership.
Following the announcement of his win at St Stephen’s Club in Westminster, Mr Farage said: “I note with delight that today is November 5th, a symbolic day of an attempt to overthrow the political class, although I promise our methods will be peaceful.”
The former UKIP Leader returns to the top job after standing down last year as he concentrated his efforts on contesting the Buckingham seat of Speaker John Bercow in the General Election. The attempt ended in dramatic fashion after he was involved in a plane crash on polling day, May 5th, from which he was lucky to walk away from.
Referring to the accident, Mr Farage said: “If I was bold before the accident, I’m fearless now.
“And this is the time to be fearless; to be strong and decisive and to push for what we believe in. For never have the political classes been more out of touch with public opinion.”
Mr Farage takes over from Lord Pearson of Rannoch, who stood down in August this year after overseeing UKIP’s General Election success which saw the Party increase its vote to more than 900,000.
Read Nigel Farage’s acceptance speech in full here:
I would firstly like to thank the UKIP electorate once more for putting their faith in me. I would also like to give thanks for being alive, for being here and for having the chance to take on this role again. I really did have the most miraculous escape from that plane crash. I must also give thanks to my family who, once again, will have to pay the price for me doing this job.
I note with delight that today is November 5th, a symbolic day of an attempt to overthrow the political class, although I promise our methods will be peaceful.
Being leader of UKIP is a job I have done before and I led the party in the European Elections of 2009 to second place across the entire United Kingdom. If I was bold before the accident, I’m fearless now.
And this is the time to be fearless; to be strong and decisive and to push for what we believe in. For never have the political classes been more out of touch with public opinion.
Patriotic Old Labour voters have known this for a long time. The Traditional Liberals are also finding it hard to recognise what the Liberal Democrats have become.
But for millions of Tory voters, the last few months have been something of a shock.
For years I was told ‘The Tories are playing a very clever game’ and ‘Just wait until David gets in’.
Well, David is in. And his international policy is simple:
Surrender, Surrender, Surrender.
Patriotic Eurosceptic Tories are beginning to realise that under David Cameron and William Hague their party has ceased to exist. Quite simply, they’ve given up. Remember the cast-iron pledge of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty? They turned their back on it and now only UKIP are prepared to put the question to the British people.
In no single area does our national interest come first.
Look at the economy, with cuts made in almost all areas of public life except the EU budget. In December I will lead the UKIP MEPs in voting against not only the 6% rise proposed by the European Parliament but also the 2.9% rise we think is an insult to British tax payers and Mr Cameron thinks is some sort of victory.
And their defence policy reads like the script of a Gilbert and Sullivan farce. Carriers without planes and 50 year treaties with France; troop numbers at risk when we are facing the hardest fighting since the Second World War. Our Armed Forces should be completely at the command of the British government: they take an oath to The Queen as their Commander in Chief not Nicolas Sarkozy. We must take back full control of our defence forces.
As for immigration, well every single assurance the Tory Party has made has proved to be valueless. Now we don’t just have an open door to the Bulgarian criminals gangs but a million Moldavians have been given EU passports and a new trade deal with India is being negotiated which proposes not just trade but an open door to the entire Indian work force into the United Kingdom. Every assurance on immigration caps is meaningless. The only people who should decide who comes to live, work and settle in this country should be the British people themselves through their own parliament.
But the acceptance by the coalition of the EU Foreign Policy and the formation of an EU External Action Service under the ludicrous Baroness Ashton is a policy which should make the Tories hang their head in shame. The woman that no one dares to criticise, a woman who has never been elected to anything apart from her successful position as treasurer of CND. Well I dare. Closing British embassies and replacing them with EU ones doesn’t give the UK a bigger influence in the world.
And despite receiving millions of pounds from city sources, Mr Cameron has given away total control of the UK’s biggest industry to three EU regulators. It is now an irrelevance who forms the British government now if you work in financial services. In all areas of our public life, UKIP is the only party saying let’s take back control.
Sadly, there isn’t time to mention the £8.7 billion being spent on dubious foreign aid or giving the vote to rapists and murderers; the wasted billions on useless windfarms and the closing down of British industry because of carbon credits.
In ‘defending’ the national interest, David Cameron has let the country down like a cheap pair of braces.
Britain needs a party that puts British interests first.
UKIP is that party, but it needs to up its game.
I’m appealing to people who believe in the UKIP message that the best people to govern Britain are the British people themselves; not to just agree with us, or lend us their vote at European Elections.
I’m appealing for them to join us, to get involved in this battle against our political classes. When David Cameron talked about the ‘Big Society’ I had no idea what he was talking about. Well, here’s my version of it. Let’s create the Big Society of law abiding, tax paying, patriotic people and urge them to join us in this battle against our gutless political classes.
Help us to make UKIP a force to be reckoned with.