He's back, Nigel Farage returned as UKIP leader.
On Friday 5th November, my camera and I attended the declaration of the winner of the UKIP leadership election in the St Stephens Club in London. I had been asked to photograph the event on behalf of UKIP.
Jeffrey Titford, who led was a past and very able leader of UKIP opened the event, and introduced Lisa Duffy who had been the Returning Officer for the campaign, which due to the tensions that arise through these elections is not the easiest or most enviable of jobs. She read out the names and the number of votes each candidate had gained and it was quickly realist that this was not an election, but a second coronation for Nigel Farage who had led the party prior to the 2009 UKIP conference in Southport.
He had stood down then in order to give more time and effort to challenge John Bercow, the Speaker of the house of Commons. His vote was 6085, followed by Tim Congdon with 2037 votes, then David Campbell-Bannerman who got 1444 votes and finally, Winston McKenzie who vote stood at 530 votes.
In his acceptance speech Nigel tore into the Conservative Party leaders, who have betrayed and deceived the voters and their own members. He said: “Patriotic Old Labour voters have known this for a long time. The Traditional Liberals are also finding it hard to recognise what the Liberal Democrats have become.
“But for millions of Tory voters, the last few months have been something of a shock.
“For years I was told 'The Tories are playing a very clever game' and 'Just wait until David gets in'.
“Well, David is in. And his international policy is simple:
“Surrender, Surrender, Surrender.
“Patriotic Eurosceptic Tories are beginning to realise that under David Cameron and William Hague their party has ceased to exist. Quite simply, they've given up. Remember the cast-iron pledge of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty? They turned their back on it and now only UKIP are prepared to put the question to the British people.”
Nigel now has a lot to do, beginning with healing the rifts and wounds that leadership contest always create, no matter what political party. With a unified and focussed UKIP membership behind him there has now never been such an opportunity for gain throughout UKIP’s short history - the other parties have failed and, at last, the people are beginning to see this and are now looking towards UKIP.
Jeffrey Titford introduces the UKIP leadership candidates.