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Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage
Farage at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, 2014
Leader of the UK Independence Party
Assumed office
5 November 2010
Deputy Paul Nuttall
Preceded by Jeffrey Titford (acting)
In office
27 September 2006 27 November 2009
Deputy David Campbell Bannerman
Preceded by Roger Knapman
Succeeded by The Lord Pearson of Rannoch
Member of the European Parliament
for South East England
Assumed office
15 July 1999
Preceded by Position established
Chairman of
Europe of Freedom and Democracy
Assumed office
1 July 2009
Serving with Francesco Speroni
Preceded by Position established
Nigel Farage
Personal details
Born Nigel Paul Farage
3 April 1964
Downe, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative (until 1993)
UK Independence Party (1993-)
Spouse(s) Grinne Hayes (m. 198897)
Kirsten Mehr (m.1999present)
Children 4
Alma mater Dulwich College
Profession Stockbroker, politician
Nigel Paul Farage (/fr/;
born 3 April 1964) 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, and he co-chairs the 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 the seat of the
Speaker, John Bercow, at the 2010 general election. Farage failed to defeat Bercow, coming third in the Buckingham
In November 2010, Farage successfully stood in the 2010 UKIP leadership contest,
following the resignation of
the party's leader, Lord Pearson of Rannoch. Farage was also ranked 41st in The Daily Telegraph's Top 100 most
influential right-wingers poll in October 2009, citing his media savvy 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 2nd behind the Prime
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 and its related single-currency project.
Farage was born on 3 April 1964 in Downe, near Sevenoaks in Kent, to Guy Justus Oscar Farage and Barbara
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.
Nigel Farage
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.
Political career
Early years
Active in the Conservative Party from his school days, Farage left the party in 1992 in protest at the John Major
government's signing of the Treaty on European Union at Maastricht. He was a founding member of UKIP in 1993.
European Parliament
Farage was elected to the European Parliament in 1999 and re-elected in 2004 and 2009. In 1999 the BBC spent four
months filming a documentary about his European election campaign but did not air it. Farage, then head of the
UKIP's South East office, asked for a video and had friends make copies which were sold for 5 through the UKIP's
magazine. Surrey Trading Standards investigated and Farage admitted the offence. Farage is presently the leader of
the thirteen-member UKIP contingent in the European Parliament, and co-leader of the multinational Eurosceptic
group, Europe of Freedom and Democracy.
Jacques Barrot
On 18 November 2004, Farage announced in the European Parliament that Jacques Barrot, the French Commissioner
designate, had been barred from elected office in France for 2 years, after being convicted in 2000 of embezzling 2
million from government funds and diverting it into the coffers of his party. He said that French President Jacques
Chirac had granted Barrot amnesty and initial BBC reports said that, under French Law, it was perhaps illegal to
mention that conviction; the prohibition in question applies only to French officials in the course of their duties.
The President of the Parliament, Josep Borrell, enjoined him to retract his comments under threat of "legal
consequences". The following day it was confirmed that Barrot had received an 8-month suspended jail sentence in
the case, and that this had been quickly expunged by the amnesty decided by Chirac and his parliamentary majority.
The Socialist and Liberal groups in the European Parliament then joined forces with UKIP in demanding the
resignation of Barrot for failing to disclose the conviction during his confirmation hearings.
Jos Manuel Barroso
In early 2005, Farage requested that the European Commission disclose where the individual Commissioners had
spent their holidays. The Commission did not provide the information requested, on the basis that the
Commissioners had a right of privacy. The German newspaper Die Welt reported that the President of the European
Commission, Jos Manuel Barroso had spent a week on the yacht of the Greek shipping billionaire Spiro Latsis. It
emerged soon afterwards that this had occurred a month before the Commission under Barroso's predecessor
Romano Prodi approved 10.3 million euro of Greek state aid for Latsis' shipping company. It also became known
that Peter Mandelson, then a member of the Commission, had accepted a trip to Jamaica from an unrevealed source.
Farage persuaded around 75 MEPs from across the political divide to back a motion of no confidence in Barroso,
which would be sufficient to compel Barroso to appear before the European Parliament to be questioned on the issue.
The motion was successfully tabled on 12 May 2005, and Barroso appeared before Parliament at a debate on 26 May
2005. The motion was heavily defeated. A Conservative MEP, Roger Helmer, was expelled from his group, the
European People's Party European Democrats (EPP-ED), in the middle of the debate by that group's leader
Hans-Gert Poettering as a result of his support for Farage's motion.
Nigel Farage
UKIP party leadership
Farage at the UKIP Conference in 2009
On 12 September 2006, Farage was elected leader of UKIP with 45%
of the vote, 20% ahead of his nearest rival. He pledged to bring
discipline to the party and to maximise UKIP's representation in local,
parliamentary and other elections. In a PM programme interview on
BBC Radio 4 that day he pledged to end the public perception of UKIP
as a single-issue party and to work with allied politicians in the Better
Off Out campaign, committing himself not to stand against the MPs
who have signed up to that campaign (ten in all at this moment).
In his maiden speech to the UKIP conference, on 8 October 2006,
Farage told delegates that the party was "at the centre-ground of British
public opinion" and the "real voice of opposition". He said: "We've got three social democratic parties in Britain
Labour, Lib Dem and Conservative are virtually indistinguishable from each other on nearly all the main issues" and
"you can't put a cigarette paper between them and that is why there are nine million people who don't vote now in
general elections that did back in 1992."
At 10pm on 19 October 2006, Farage took part in a three-hour live interview and phone-in with James Whale on the
national radio station talkSPORT. Four days later, Whale announced on his show his intention to stand as UKIP's
candidate in the 2008 London Mayoral Election. Farage said that Whale "not only has guts, but an understanding of
what real people think". Whale later decided not to stand and UKIP was represented by Gerard Batten.
Farage stood again for the UKIP leadership in 2010 (having stood down the year before, to focus on his unsuccessful
campaign in the Buckingham election) after his successor Lord Pearson had stood down, and on 5 November 2010 it
was announced he had won the leadership contest.
Westminster elections
Farage had unsuccessfully contested British parliamentary elections for UKIP five times, both before and after his
election as an MEP in 1999. Under the 2002 European Union decision to forbid MEPs from holding a dual mandate,
if he were to be elected to the House of Commons, he would have to resign his seat as MEP.
When he contested the Bromley & Chislehurst constituency in a May 2006 by-election, following the death of
Eurosceptic Conservative MP Eric Forth, Farage came third, winning 8% of the vote, beating the Labour Party
candidate. This was the second-best by-election result recorded by UKIP out of 25 results, and the first time since the
Liverpool Walton by-election in 1991 that a party in government had been pushed into fourth place in a
parliamentary by-election on mainland Britain.
Joseph Daul
In January 2007, the French farmers' leader Joseph Daul was elected the new leader of the European People's
PartyEuropean Democrats (EPP-ED), the European Parliamentary grouping which then included the British
Conservatives. The UK Independence Party almost immediately revealed that Daul had been under judicial
investigation in France since 2004 as part of an inquiry into the alleged misuse of public funds worth 16 million
(10.6 million) by French farming unions." It was not suggested that Daul had personally benefited, but was accused
of "complicity and concealment of the abuse of public funds." Daul accused Farage of publicising the investigation
for political reasons and threatened to sue Farage, but did not do so though the court dropped all charges against him.
Nigel Farage
Prince Charles
Prince Charles was invited to speak to the European Parliament on 14 February 2008; in his speech he called for EU
leadership in the battle against climate change. During the standing ovation that followed, Farage was the only MEP
to remain seated, and he went on to describe the Prince's advisers as "nave and foolish at best." Farage continued:
"How can somebody like Prince Charles be allowed to come to the European Parliament at this time to announce he
thinks it should have more powers? It would have been better for the country he wants to rule one day if he had
stayed home and tried to persuade Gordon Brown to give the people the promised referendum on the Treaty of
Lisbon". The leader of the UK Labour Party's MEPs, Gary Titley, accused Farage of anti-Royalism. Titley said: "I
was embarrassed and disgusted when the Leader of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage, remained firmly
seated during the lengthy standing ovation Prince Charles received. I had not realised Mr Farage's blind adherence to
right-wing politics involved disloyalty and discourtesy to the Royal Family. He should be thoroughly ashamed of
himself and should apologise to the British people he represents."
Herman Van Rompuy
After the speech of Herman Van Rompuy on 24 February 2010 to the European Parliament, Farage to protests
from other MEPs addressed the former Belgian Prime Minister and first long-term President of the European
Council saying that he had the "charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of low grade bank clerk". Farage
questioned the legitimacy of Van Rompuy's appointment, asking "Who are you? I'd never heard of you, nobody in
Europe had ever heard of you". He also asserted that Van Rompuy's "intention [is] to be the quiet assassin of
European democracy and of the European nation states." Van Rompuy commented afterwards, "There was one
contribution that I can only hold in contempt, but I'm not going to comment further." After refusing to apologise for
behaviour that was, in the words of the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, "inappropriate,
unparliamentary and insulting to the dignity of the House", Farage was reprimanded and had his right to ten days'
allowance (expenses) rescinded.
The President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, said after his meeting with Farage:
I defend absolutely Mr Farage's right to disagree about the policy or institutions of the Union, but not to
personally insult our guests in the European Parliament or the country from which they may come. [. . .]
I myself fought for free speech as the absolute cornerstone of a democratic society. But with freedom
comes responsibility in this case, to respect the dignity of others and of our institutions. I am
disappointed by Mr Farage's behaviour, which sits ill with the great parliamentary tradition of his own
country. I cannot accept this sort of behaviour in the European Parliament. I invited him to apologise,
but he declined to do so. I have therefore as an expression of the seriousness of the matter rescinded
his right to ten days' daily allowance as a Member.
Questioned by Camilla Long of The Times, Farage declared of his speech "it wasn't abusive, it was right."
2010 UK General Election
On 4 September 2009, Farage resigned as the UKIP's leader to focus on his campaign to become Member of
Parliament for Buckingham at Westminster in the 2010 general election. He later told The Times journalist Camilla
Long that UKIP internal fights took up far too much time.
Farage stood against sitting Buckingham MP, John Bercow, the newly elected Speaker of the House of Commons,
despite the convention that the Speaker, as a political neutral, is not normally challenged in his or her bid for
re-election by any of the major parties.
Farage came third with 8,401 votes. Bercow was re-elected and in second place with 10,331 votes was John Stevens,
a former Conservative MEP who campaigned as an independent accompanied by "Flipper the Dolphin" (a reference
to MPs flipping second homes).
Nigel Farage
Injury in air crash
On 6 May 2010, the morning of the election, Farage was travelling in a Polish-built two-seater PZL-104 Wilga
aircraft with a pro-UKIP banner attached, when the plane crashed. Farage suffered injuries that were described as
non-life-threatening. Although his injuries were originally described as minor, his sternum and ribs were broken and
his lung punctured. The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) report said that the aeroplane was towing a
banner, which caught in the tailplane, forcing the nose down.
On 1 December 2010 the pilot of the aircraft involved in the accident was charged with threatening to kill Farage in a
separate incident. He was also charged with threatening to kill an AAIB official involved in the investigation into the
accident. In April 2011, the pilot was found guilty of making death threats. The judge said that the defendant was
"clearly extremely disturbed" at the time the offences happened, adding "He is a man who does need help. If I can
find a way of giving him help I will."
May 2012 London mayoral and local elections
The UKIP forgot to put their party name on their candidate's ballot paper for the London mayoral election, 2012,
Laurence Webb appearing as "A fresh choice for London." Farage described the mistake as an internal error.
Interviewed the following Sunday by Andrew Neil and asked about "the game plan", Farage welcomed the "average
13% vote" across the country, and stated that the party was preparing for County council elections in 2013, European
elections in 2014 and a general election in 2015.
Nigel Farage talking to members of the media.
Asked what would happen to UKIP if the Tories made a manifesto
commitment to a "European Referendum", Farage said they had
already failed to honour a "cast iron" commitment for a referendum on
the Lisbon Treaty. Challenging Farage's viewpoint, Neil conceded that
UKIP aspired to come top of the European elections, but whilst UKIP
wanted to join the big time they were still seen as "unprofessional,
amateur and even unacceptable" after the Party's press officer called
Baroness Warsi "a ***".Wikipedia:Verifiability Farage regretted "the
wrong choice of words" but further described Warsi as "the lowest
grade Chairman the Tory Party has ever had.". He was voted politician
of the year by MSN.
May 2013 local elections
In May 2013 Farage led UKIP to its best-ever performance in a UK election. The party took 23% of the vote in the
local elections, putting it only 2 points behind the governing Conservative party and 9 points ahead of the Liberal
Democrats, and winning it 147 council seats. Farage was mobbed by well-wishers as he made his way to his
favourite pub, the Marquis of Granby, for a celebratory drink. He called the victory "a real sea change in British
politics". Subsequently, polling agency Survation found that 22% of voters intended to support UKIP in the 2015
General Election.
Visit to Scotland
In May 2013, Farage was interrupted by protesters during a press conference in the Canon's Gait pub on Edinburgh's
Royal Mile. The demonstration was organised by the Radical Independence Campaign and saw protesters vocally
accuse Farage of being "racist", "fascist", and a "homophobe", and tell him to "go back to London". Farage made
attempts to leave by taxi but was prevented from doing so, and was eventually taken away in an armoured police van
while protesters continued to shout. He was trying to raise the profile of UKIP in Scotland ahead of the Aberdeen
Donside by-election; the party currently has no representation in the country, and took 0.91% of the vote in the
previous election. During an interview with BBC's Good Morning Scotland radio show, Farage labelled the
Nigel Farage
protesters "yobbo fascist scum" before hanging up, stating that the questions regarding the incident in Edinburgh
were insulting and unpleasant.
Future televised debates
Farage has threatened to take legal action if he is excluded from any televised party leaders' debates at the next
general election.
2014 European election
In a second visit to Edinburgh in May 2014 Farage predicted that UKIP would win a Scottish seat in the elections.
UKIP successfully took its first MEP in the 2014 European elections, much to the dismay of the Scottish National
Party. Two hundred protesters heckled and booed him. Thirty police in two vans were needed to preserve order.
In the European Parliament elections in 2014, Farage led UKIP to win the highest share of the vote. It was the first
time a political party other than the Labour Party and Conservative Party has won the popular vote in a national
election since the 1906 general election. It is also the first time a party other than the Labour and Conservatives won
the largest number of seats in a national election since the December 1910 general election.
2015 UK General Election
In October 2013, Farage announced that he would stand for election as an MP in 2015. Speaking on the BBC's The
Andrew Marr Show, he said that he would consider standing in Folkestone and Hythe or South Thanet, but had no
specific preference for which seat he wished to contest, and preferred to focus on his current role as an MEP.
The euro
From taking office as a UKIP MEP in 1999, Farage has often voiced opposition to the "euro project". His argument
is that "a one-size-fits-all interest rate" cannot work for countries with structurally different economies, often using
the example of Greece and Germany to emphasise contrast.
Farage strongly opposes the use of bailouts and says that "buying your own debt with tax payers money" will not
solve the problem and that, "if we do, the next debt crisis won't be a country", "it will be the European Central Bank
Alternative Vote referendum
Farage declared himself personally in favour of the Alternative Vote system of May 2011, saying first-past-the-post
would be a "nightmare" for UKIP. The party's stance has to be decided by its central policy-making committee.
Energy and the environment
Farage has criticised the shutting down of coal-fired power stations and has opposed the policy of creating wind
farms as covering "Britain in ugly disgusting ghastly windmills". In a speech made to the European parliament on 11
September 2013, Farage cited news, reported in several Rupert Murdoch-owned papers and the Daily Mail, that the
Arctic Sea ice cap had apparently grown from 2012 to 2013, claiming that this was evidence of decades "of
Euro-federalism combined with an increasing Green obsession".
Nigel Farage
Farage takes an anti-prohibitionist position on recreational drugs. In an April 2014 phone-in interview hosted by The
Daily Telegraph he argued that the War on Drugs had been lost "many, many years ago", stating that "I hate drugs,
I've never taken them myself, I hope I never do, but I just have a feeling that the criminalisation of all these drugs is
actually not really helping British society." He argued in favour of a Royal Commission on drugs exploring all
avenues as how to most effectively legislate on drugs and deal with their related criminal and public health problems,
including the possibility of their legalisation.
Expenses disclosure
In May 2009, The Observer reported a Foreign Press Association speech given by Farage in which he had said that
over his period as a Member of the European Parliament he had received a total of 2 million of taxpayers' money in
staff, travel, and other expenses. In response, Farage said that in future all UKIP MEPs would provide monthly
expense details.
View of Russian President Vladimir Putin
When asked which leaders he admired, Farage said "As an operator, but not as a human being, I would say Putin. ...
Not that I approve of him politically".
In a 2014 interview on LBC Radio Farage said that he would feel "concerned" if a group of Romanian men moved
next door to him. When the reporter inquired what would be the difference between Romanian men moving next
door and Germans, in reference to Nigel Farage's German wife and children, Farage replied: "You know the
difference." He later expanded on this on the UKIP website, explaining that "if we were able to operate a proper
work permit scheme for Romanian nationals, with suitable checks, as recommended by UKIP, then nobody would
need to be concerned if a group of Romanian nationals moved in next door to them."
Office expenses
In 2014, Farage was accused of receiving 15,500 a year in EU expenses to run his constituency office in Bognor
Regis, whilst the office was provided rent-free by UKIP supporters. Farage said the allegation was "outrageous,
ridiculous and absurd", however, the matter was referred to the EU's anti-fraud body, which decided there was
nothing to investigate. Farage stated: "We do not claim expenses for running an office or any other activity that takes
place within the United Kingdom. We get an allowance, a fixed-rate allowance, and we can spend it how we see fit."
UKIP were also accused of wrongfully using money intended for a pan-European political group, to pay staff
salaries, but the Bureau found the accusations to be groundless.
Electoral performance
Nigel Farage has contested several elections under the United Kingdom Independence Party banner:
Nigel Farage
Party Year Election Number of votes % of votes
UKIP 1994 European Parliament election - Itchen, Test and Avon 12,423 5.4
UKIP 1994 By-election - Eastleigh 952 1.7
UKIP 1997 General election - Salisbury 3,332 5.7
UKIP 1999 European Parliament election - South East England 144,514 9.7
UKIP 2001 General election - Bexhill and Battle 3,474 7.8
UKIP 2004 European Parliament election - South East England 431,111 19.5
UKIP 2005 General election - South Thanet 2,079 5.0
UKIP 2006 By-election - Bromley and Chislehurst 2,347 8.1
UKIP 2009 European Parliament election - South East England 440,002 18.8
UKIP 2010 General election - Buckingham 8,410 17.4
UKIP 2014 European Parliament election - South East England 751,439 32.14
Personal life
Farage still lives in Downe, around the corner from his mother, and has been married twice. In 1988 he married
Grinne Hayes, by whom he has two children: Samuel (born 1989) and Thomas (born 1991). The couple divorced in
1997. In 1999 he married Kirsten Mehr, a German national, and they have two children, Victoria (born 2000) and
Isabelle (born 2005). His wife works as Farage's European Parliament secretary. Farage has made reference to his
German wife in response to criticisms that he is somehow "anti-Europe", while he himself says he is merely anti-EU.
In April 2014, Farage said that he employed his wife as his secretary at public expense. Farage said that "nobody else
could do that job".
In 2010, Farage published a memoir, entitled Fighting Bull (Flying Free in paperback), outlining the founding of
UKIP and his personal and political life so far. Farage is also a keen cricket fan and has appeared on Test Match
[1] http:/ / nigelfaragemep.
[2] While Farage himself pronounces it thus, he has stated that he does not mind if the alternative pronunciation of is used by others Farage vs
Paxman (http:/ / com/ watch?v=K27fm4lyWm0), Newsnight (YouTube UKIP webmaster's channel), 18 April 2010.
Retrieved 13 May 2013.
[3] Sparrow, Andrew (3 September 2010). "Nigel Farage to stand for Ukip leadership again" (http:/ / www. guardian. co. uk/ politics/ 2010/ sep/
03/ nigel-farage-stand-ukip-leadership). The Guardian (London).
[4] 'FARAGE, Nigel Paul', Who's Who 2012, A & C Black, 2012; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2011; (http:/ / www. ukwhoswho.
com/ view/ article/ oupww/ whoswho/ U15437) online edn, November 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
[5] [5] The prohibition contained in the French penal code against mentioning crimes covered by an amnesty only concerns French officials who
may hear of such crimes in the course of their duties (CP L133-11), and does not apply generally (L133-10).
2002 Amnesty law (http:/ / www. legifrance. gouv. fr/ WAspad/ UnTexteDeJorf?numjo=JUSX0200109L)
Penal Code, articles L133-9 (http:/ / www. legifrance. gouv. fr/ WAspad/ UnArticleDeCode?code=CPENALLL.
rcv& art=133-11), L133-10 (http:/ / www. legifrance. gouv. fr/ WAspad/ UnArticleDeCode?code=CPENALLL.
rcv& art=133-11), L133-11 (http:/ / www. legifrance. gouv. fr/ WAspad/ UnArticleDeCode?code=CPENALLL.
rcv& art=133-11)
Nigel Farage
Further reading
Fighting Bull. Biteback (autobiography 2010 hardback first edition); Flying Free. Biteback (autobiography 2011
paperback second edition)
External links
Nigel Farage MEP (http:/ / nigelfaragemep. co. uk/ ) Official website
Nigel Farage (https:/ / twitter. com/ nigel_farage) on Twitter
Nigel Farage (http:/ / www. europarl. europa. eu/ members/ public/ geoSearch/ view. do?id=4525) Profile at
European Parliament website
UKIP MEPs (http:/ / www. ukipmeps. org/ ) Official website of the UK Independence Party in the European
Europe of Freedom and Democracy (http:/ / www. efdgroup. eu/ ) Political group in the European Parliament
Debrett's People of Today (http:/ / www. debretts. com/ people/ biographies/ browse/ f/ 20684/ Nigel Paul+
FARAGE. aspx)
Party political offices
Chairman of the UK Independence
Mike Nattrass
Roger Knapman
Leader of the UK Independence Party
The Lord Pearson of Rannoch
Jeffrey Titford
Leader of the UK Independence Party
Article Sources and Contributors
Article Sources and Contributors
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