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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 September 2006, 13:49 GMT 14:49 UK
Profile: Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage, the new leader of the UK Independence Party, was already the public face of the party.

NIGEL FARAGE
Nigel Farage
Age: 42
Educated: Dulwich College, London
Job: MEP since 1999, commodity broker
Family: Married, four children
Hobbies: Fishing, military history, traditional pubs

A flamboyant figure and confident media performer, he is known for eye-catching publicity stunts such as parking an armoured personnel carrier outside the Conservative spring conference - to symbolise "UKIP parking its tanks" on David Cameron's lawn.

He clashed memorably with Tony Blair, when the prime minister addressed the European Parliament last year, and will continue to be the leader of the party's MEPs in Strasbourg.

Mr Farage also claims to have attracted big financial backers to the party - and a key plank of his leadership campaign was the promise of more to come.

Broadening appeal

Mr Farage is a founder member of UKIP, having defected from the Conservatives after John Major signed the Maastricht Treaty.

He says he wants to broaden UKIP from a single issue party to occupy ground vacated David Cameron's Conservatives on issues such as immigration, taxation and education.

"UKIP is a national political party, and it must begin to act like one," he said in his campaign literature.

He believes that by taking local elections seriously and having a detailed national manifesto the party can emulate the success of the Scottish National Party - achieving a longed-for breakthrough into Westminster politics.

He beat Labour into fourth place at the recent Bromley and Chislehurst by-election, although some in the party believed he should have done even better, given the amount of cash spent on the campaign.

In his more expansive moments, Mr Farage speaks of waging war on the entire Westminster establishment - claiming UKIP is the only voice of opposition to what he sees as the cosy left liberal consensus of the three main parties.

But he is expected to leave the day-to-day running of the party in the UK to party chairman and defeated leadership rival David Campbell Bannerman.




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