Jeffrey Titford

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Jeffrey Titford
Leader of the UK Independence Party
In office
6 September 2010 – 5 November 2010
Preceded by The Lord Pearson of Rannoch
Succeeded by Nigel Farage
In office
22 January 2000 – 5 October 2002
Preceded by Michael Holmes
Succeeded by Roger Knapman
Member of the European Parliament
for East of England
In office
15 July 1999 – 15 July 2009
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Stuart Agnew
Personal details
Born Jeffrey William Titford
(1933-10-24) 24 October 1933 (age 80)
West Mersea, Essex, England, United Kingdom
Political party UK Independence Party
Other political
affiliations
Conservative
Spouse(s) Margaret

Jeffrey William Titford (born 24 October 1933, West Mersea, Essex) is a British politician who served as leader of the UK Independence Party from 2000 until 2002. He served again as interim leader in September to November 2010 following the resignation of Lord Pearson of Rannoch. He was also a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the East of England from 1999 to 2009.

He had been at various times a member of the Conservative Party (for whom he was a local councillor), the New Britain Party and the Referendum Party. He was the most successful Referendum Party candidate in the 1997 general election, winning nearly 10 percent of the vote in Harwich. However, later that year he joined the UKIP.

In 1999, Titford became one of the first UKIP representatives to win a seat in the European Parliament. In 2000, UKIP's then leader, Michael Holmes, MEP, resigned amidst serious infighting. Jeffrey Titford narrowly won the ensuing leadership election, promising to reunite the party and restore its effectiveness as a campaigning organisation. This he largely succeeded in doing. The Guardian newspaper described him in 2001 as "an emollient man, a sort of Willie Whitelaw figure, and an ideal leader for such a fractious party".[1] He led UKIP into the 2001 general election, in which it stood more than 420 candidates but failed to make any breakthroughs (although it did consolidate its position as the largest of the smaller parties). In October 2002, Titford stepped down as party leader to allow his successor time to lay out his strategy for the 2004 European Election. He also wanted to spend more time on political campaigns in the East of England, where he continued to be an active MEP. He was re-elected with a greatly increased share of the vote in the 2004 European elections. At this election, UKIP also returned a second MEP, Tom Wise.

At the 2005 general election, Titford again contested Harwich. He came fourth of six candidates and polled 2,314 votes, a share of 4.6%, losing his deposit.[2] Titford stepped down from the European Parliament at the 2009 European Parliament Election. He and Wise were succeeded as UKIP MEPs for the East of England by David Campbell-Bannerman and Stuart Agnew.

Titford is regarded by many in UKIP as the nearest the party has to an elder statesman. In October 2005, UKIP's leader Roger Knapman announced that he was appointing Titford as party chairman for an interim period.[3]

Before entering politics he was a businessman. He was president of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

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Party political offices
Preceded by
Michael Holmes
Leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party
2000–2002
Succeeded by
Roger Knapman
Preceded by
Malcolm Pearson
Leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party
2010
Succeeded by
Nigel Farage