Politician of the Decade (living)

Lion & Unicorn

In the ever-lengthening list of UKIP leaders, Baron Pearson of Rannoch was far from the worst. Nor, however, was he much good. He spent just ten months in the job, during which time he oversaw the disappointing general election result of 2010, when the average vote for a UKIP candidate fell below that for the BNP. Perhaps, though, he’d already made his contribution to the party, even before joining, by providing it with a mission statement.

He’d originally been a Conservative – he got his peerage from Margaret Thatcher – but had felt frustrated by its mealy-mouthed espousal of Euroscepticism. He was still a Tory when, during the 2004 campaign for the European Parliament elections, he called for people to vote UKIP. ‘The only party which might save our democracy, our right to govern ourselves, from the corrupt octopus in Brussels is the Conservatives,’ he said. ‘But the only people…

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