Ukip leader Lord Pearson resigns
Lord Pearson of Rannoch, the leader of the UK Independence Party, is to stand down after admitting he was “not much good” at party politics.
By Andy Bloxham
In a message posted on Twitter, party chairman Paul Nuttall said: “Lord Pearson has decided to stand down as leader of UKIP.”
In his resignation statement, Lord Pearson said Ukip “deserved a better politician to lead it”.
The 68-year-old said he wanted to “spend more time on his wider interests”, including “the treatment of people with intellectual impairment, teacher training, the threat from Islamism and the relationship between good and evil” – as well as his dogs and family, the BBC reported.
Lord Pearson led the party for less than a year after taking over from the high-profile MEP Nigel Farage, who quit to concentrate on his failed attempt to oust John Bercow, the House of Commons Speaker, from Parliament at the general election.
An interim leader will be chosen at Ukip’s annual conference next month.
Mr Farage, who suffered serious injuries in a plane crash on polling day, did not rule out standing for the leadership again.
He sustained broken ribs, bruised lungs and facial injuries in the accident when the plane he was travelling in, towing a Ukip banner, nose-dived to the ground at an airfield in Northamptonshire.
In an interview broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Farage said he would have to decide whether he had recovered sufficiently to take the helm of the party again.
“I hadn’t really considered this until a few hours ago when (Lord) Malcolm (Pearson) told me of his decision.
“I’m not going to say I’m absolutely not going to do the job again but I’ve got to decide in the wake of that accident whether I’m strong enough to take the job on.
“The other problem is I’m still leading a group in the European Parliament in Brussels, can I do that and lead a party in the UK?”
At the General Election, Ukip won just over 3 per cent of the vote but failed to gain a single seat.