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Saturday, November 28, 2009
Mr Farage did not commit himself, but refused to rule out leading the party again, raising doubts about who was really in charge of the United Kingdom Independence Party.
A political appointee, UKIP's new leader Lord Pearson has never held elective office. He became UKIP leader after former leader Farage made it clear he expected the party to elect him.
Rival parties were quick to label Lord Pearson a "puppet". Analysts are divided over whether Lord Pearson's public statements are carefully co-ordinated by Farage as part of a "good-cop/bad-cop strategy", or whether their collaboration hides tensions behind which Pearson and Farage represent different interest groups with different views on what direction UKIP should take.
Farage oversaw a surge in UKIP's poll ratings since taking over the leadership of the party in 2006. His half-naked poses in calendar shoots have been popular with the nation's women, and his name and image are used widely in marketing and advertising campaigns, including his own vodka brand.
But he has attracted criticism, notably including British chess supremo Nigel Short. The chess champ turned political activist said Farage had silenced critics within UKIP, and his iron control over the internal disciplinary units of the party had killed free speech.
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