The UK Independence Party or UKIP for short were formed in 1993, so are a relatively new party in the UK political landscape. The original aims of the party were to promote the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union (EU), aims that are still applicable to this day.
On the periphery of UK politics until recently, the party came to the forefront of UK politics in the 2013 Local elections where it achieved fourth in number of council seats and third in the overall share of the nationwide vote. The party made further gains in the 2014 European elections, winning 22 seats and the most votes overall. This was the first time in over 100 years that a party outside of the main two, Conservatives and Labour Party, had won a nationwide election.
Leader – Nigel Farage MEP
Nigel Farage has been the Leader of the UK Independence Party twice, the first time from September 2006 to November 2009 and holds the position currently from 2010. He replaced The Lord Pearson of Rannoch as leader most recently and Roger Knapman in 2006.
Nigel attended Dulwich College public school but did not attend university. From school he went to work in the city, trading commodities in London then moving to a brokerage firm.
He was one of the founding members of UKIP after leaving the Conservative party.
Quick Facts about Nigel Farage MEP:
– He has survived being hit by a car, a plane crash and testicular cancer
– He is married to a woman from Germany who also works as his secretary
– He is a smoker and likes to relax by fishing alone at night.
Party Colours – Purple/Yellow
2 seats in Commons. 3 seats in Lords. The UK Independence Party currently has the most seats in the European Parliament for the UK, winning the recent vote in 2014 with 22 seats.
Main manifesto policies as set out by the UK Independence Party:
“Believe in Britain”
Main 5 points:
– Say NO to the EU
– Control Our Borders
– Extra £3 billion for the NHS
– Cut foreign aid spending
– No tax on the minimum wage
– Transport – UKIP will scrap the proposed HS2 scheme
– Overseas Aid – UKIP will cut foreign aid but increase trade with developing nations
– Economy – UKIP will scrap the tax on minimum wage, lifting the threshold to at least £13,000
– Defence – UKIP will retain the Nuclear Deterrent and create a Dedicated Military Hospital.
– Political Reform – UKIP wants to give voters the power to sack their MP and reform the Recall measures that are currently in place.
– Education – UKIP wants to see a grammar school in every town and foster academic education among bright poorer students.
– Immigration – UKIP want to reform the immigration system, taking back control of UK borders by putting a five year tag moratorium on immigration for unskilled workers and introducing an Australian-Style points based system.