Farage to stand for Ukip leader again

By Peter Wozniak and Ian Dunt

Nigel Farage will once again stand to become leader of the United Kingdom Independence party (Ukip).

The former leader confirmed his intentions as the party gathered in Torquay for its autumn conference.

The news follows the decision by Lord Pearson to step down from his role as leader following a disappointing election campaign.

In the interregnum period, the party had selected Jeffrey Titford to run proceedings until the election of a successor is complete.

Mr Titford expressed optimism about Ukips’s future, saying: “I think people are beginning to read our manifesto, understand that it’s common sense, that it was put together by professionals and the layman so that everybody should understand.”

It is likely that the leader will be drawn from the party’s large contingent of MEPs, with David Campbell-Bannerman mooted as a possible alternative to Mr Farage.

Some observers had doubted Mr Farage would be suitably recovered from his injuries following a plane crash on election day.

Lord Pearson of Rannoch took over as leader following Mr Farage’s decision to contest the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow’s, seat of Buckingham.

The peer oversaw a general election campaign where the eurosceptic party increased its share of the vote to three per cent, but fail to win a single MP.

Following the result, and a disastrous interview with the BBC’s John Sopel during the campaign in which the Ukip head admitted he didn’t know the details of his own manifesto, Lord Pearson quit as leader, stating that he “wasn’t much good at party politics”.

Ukip recorded impressive results in the European elections last year, coming second to the Conservatives in share of the vote, but once the focus of politics shifts away from Europe the party has traditionally struggled to garner concentrated support.