Nigel Paul Farage (//; born 3 April 1964) is a British politician who has been the leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) since October 2016 (in an interim capacity), and previously served in the role from September 2006 to November 2009 and from November 2010 to September 2016. Since 1999 he has been a Member of the European Parliament for South East England. He co-chairs the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (formerly "Europe of Freedom and Democracy") group. He has been noted for his sometimes controversial speeches in the European Parliament and has strongly criticised the euro currency.
The UK Independence Party (UKIP //) is a Eurosceptic and right-wing populist political party in the United Kingdom. It is headquartered in Newton Abbot, Devon. UKIP has one Member of Parliament in the House of Commons, three representatives in the House of Lords, and 22 Members of the European Parliament, making it the largest UK party in the European Parliament. It has 488 councillors in UK local government and six members in the National Assembly for Wales.
UKIP has been identified by political scientists as part of the broader European radical right. Its ideological approach is that of right-wing populism, employing populist rhetoric to distinguish itself from the political establishment. Promoting a British unionist and nationalist agenda, it characterises the latter approach as a non-racial civic nationalism, although the accuracy of this description has been disputed. UKIP's primary emphasis has been on hard Euroscepticism, calling for the UK's exit from the European Union, while it has also placed strong emphasis on lowering immigration. Economically describing itself as libertarian and influenced by classical liberalism and Thatcherism, it promotes economically liberal policies while appealing to traditional social values.
UKIP was founded in 1991 by the historian Alan Sked as the Anti-Federalist League, a single-issue Eurosceptic party. Renamed UKIP in 1993, the party adopted a wider platform that was influenced by its ideological heritage on the right-wing of the Conservative Party. The party's early growth was slow and largely eclipsed by the Eurosceptic Referendum Party. Under Nigel Farage's leadership, from 2009 the party capitalised on concerns about rising immigration, in particular among the White British working class, resulting in significant breakthroughs at the 2013 local elections and the 2014 European elections, where UKIP received the most votes. At the 2015 general election, the party gained the third-largest vote share and one seat in the House of Commons.
Alan Sked FRHistS (born 22 August 1947) is Professor of International History at the London School of Economics, and is politically active, opposing Britain's membership of the European Union; he several times stood as a candidate in parliamentary elections, and founded the party that became the UK Independence Party.
Sked was educated at Allan Glen's School in Glasgow, before going on to study Modern and Medieval History at the University of Glasgow, followed by a DPhil in Politics at Merton College, Oxford.
Sked's doctoral supervisor at Oxford was A. J. P. Taylor, who was a major influence on him. In particular, Sked's writings on the Habsburg Monarchy owe much to Taylor, although their interpretations are very different. In addition to writing on Habsburg history, he has written texts on British political and European history. His books have been translated into German, Italian, Czech, Portuguese, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese.
At LSE he teaches courses on US and modern intellectual history, and on the history of sex, race and slavery. Sked is a member of the British-American Project, which exists to promote Britain’s political ties to the US.