Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Nigel Paul Farage is a British politician and leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) since 2010, a position he also held from September 2006 to November 2009. Since 1999 he has been a Member of the European Parliament for South East England. He co-chairs the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (formerly "Europe of Freedom and Democracy") group.
Farage was a founding member of UKIP, having left the Conservative Party in 1992 after the signing of the Maastricht Treaty. Having unsuccessfully campaigned in European and Westminster parliamentary elections for UKIP since 1994, he won a seat as MEP for South East England in the 1999 European Parliament Election – the first year the regional list system was used – and was re-elected in 2004, 2009, and 2014.
In September 2006, Farage became the UKIP Leader and led the party through the 2009 European Parliament Election when it received the second-highest share of the popular vote, defeating Labour and the Liberal Democrats with over two million votes. He stepped down in November 2009 to concentrate on contesting Buckingham, the constituency of the Speaker, John Bercow, at the 2010 general election. Farage came third.
In November 2010, Farage successfully stood in the 2010 UKIP leadership contest, following the resignation of Lord Pearson of Rannoch. Farage was ranked 41st in The Daily Telegraph's Top 100 most influential right-wingers poll in October 2009, citing his media awareness and his success with UKIP in the European Elections. Farage was ranked 58th in the 2010 list compiled by Iain Dale and Brian Brivati for The Daily Telegraph. In the 2012 edition of the same list Farage was ranked 17th, and in 2013 he was ranked second behind Prime Minister David Cameron. In 2014, he was ranked first, ahead of Cameron. He was also named "Briton of the Year" by The Times in 2014.
In the 2014 European Election, Farage was re-elected again and led UKIP to its first victory in a nationwide UK election - the first for a party other than the Conservatives or Labour since the 1906 general election.
Farage has been noted for his passionate and sometimes controversial speeches in the European Parliament and has strongly criticised the euro, the EU's single currency. In August 2014, Farage was selected to contest the South Thanet seat in Kent at the 2015 general election.
Farage was born on 3 April 1964 at Downe, near Sevenoaks in Kent, to Guy Justus Oscar Farage by his wife Barbara née Stevens. The Farage name comes from a distant Huguenot ancestor.One of his great-grandfathers was born to German parents who migrated to London in the 19th century.His father was a stockbroker who worked in the City of London financial district. A profile on BBC Radio 4 said he was an alcoholic and he left the family home when Nigel was five years old.
Farage was educated at Dulwich College, a public school in south London. On leaving school in 1982, he decided not to go to university, but to work in the City, trading commodities at the London Metal Exchange. Initially, he joined the American commodity brokerage firm Drexel Burnham Lambert,transferring to Credit Lyonnais Rouse in 1986. He joined Refco in 1994, and Natexis Metals in 2003.
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