Tuesday 6 December 2016

Timeline: A colourful career in politics

Independent.ie Newsdesk and Agencies

Published 05/07/2016 | 02:30

Nigel Farage - one of Britain's most colourful politicians. Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Nigel Farage - one of Britain's most colourful politicians. Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Nigel Farage is one of Britain's most colourful politicians - and plenty has happened during his political career. Here we chart the highs and lows.

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1999: Seven years after resigning from the Conservative Party in protest at John Major's signing of the Maastricht Treaty, Farage, a former commodities trader, is elected as the MEP for South East England. In his opening speech he stated that Ukip aimed to "seek Britain's withdrawal from the EU" and said that Britain's "interests are best served by not being part of this club".

A light aircraft lies in a field at Hinton Airfield after crashing on May 6, 2010 in Brackley, England. The aircraft was carrying Nigel Farage and towing a banner when it crashed. Farage was admitted to hospital after suffering facial cuts and injuries to the chest. Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
A light aircraft lies in a field at Hinton Airfield after crashing on May 6, 2010 in Brackley, England. The aircraft was carrying Nigel Farage and towing a banner when it crashed. Farage was admitted to hospital after suffering facial cuts and injuries to the chest. Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

June 2005: The then little-known Ukip MEP successfully brings forward a motion of no confidence in the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso.

December 2005: Farage accuses Tony Blair, the then British prime minister, of having made Britain "isolated" and "alienated" within the European Union, before being heckled down by other MEPs.

2006: Farage is elected leader of Ukip after winning 45pc of the vote in the leadership contest.

2008: Farage remains sitting in protest while other MEPs give a standing ovation to Prince Charles on his visit to the European Parliament.

2010: In a blistering attack on the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, Farage accuses him of having the "charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of low-grade bank clerk".

May 2010: He resigns as Ukip leader and contests incumbent Speaker John Bercow's seat of Buckingham in the general election. He comes third with 8,401 votes. The result comes on the same day he is nearly killed in a plane crash after a Ukip banner becomes caught in the tail.

2014: Ukip records its best ever performance in local elections in England and Wales after winning 23pc of the vote, finishing second behind the Conservatives.

March 2014: Allegations emerge over Farage paying salaries to his wife and former mistress with taxpayer funds.

May 2014: Ukip makes history by winning the European elections, gaining 26.6pc of the vote.

November 2014: Ukip gains its first ever set of MPs after Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless defect from the Conservative Party and are re-elected as Ukip MPs.

2015: Farage resigns as Ukip leader after failing to win South Thanet in Kent after a bitterly fought campaign. However, his resignation was not accepted by the Ukip governing executive.

2016: After Britain votes to leave the EU, Farage resigns, saying: "I feel I have done my bit." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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