Diane James

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Diane James
Diane James at Eastleigh.png
Leader of the UK Independence Party
Assumed office
16 September 2016
Deputy The Earl of Dartmouth
Preceded by Nigel Farage
Member of the European Parliament
for South East England
Assumed office
1 July 2014
Preceded by Sharon Bowles
Personal details
Born (1959-11-20) 20 November 1959 (age 56)
Nationality British
Political party UKIP
Alma mater Thames Valley University
Website Parliament website

Diane Martine James (born 20 November 1959) is the leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and one of four UK Independence Party (UKIP) Members of the European Parliament for South East England.[1][2]

James was born in Bedford and was a councillor on Waverley Borough Council from 2007 to May 2015, when she lost the seat to the Conservatives.[3] She was elected to the European Parliament in 2014. Following the resignation of Nigel Farage, she was elected leader of UKIP in September 2016.

Early life[edit]

James was born in Bedford[4] or Cambridgeshire[5] and educated at Rochester Grammar School and Thames Valley University.[5][4]

Political career[edit]

James was elected to Waverley Borough Council as an Independent representing Ewhurst ward after falling out with local Conservatives in 2007. She announced she was joining UKIP shortly after the 2011 election but refused to stand down and fight a by-election. She lost her seat in 2015 after standing as the UKIP candidate in the election. Her fellow UKIP councillors all lost their seats at the 2015 election.

James came second in the 2013 Eastleigh by-election with 27.8% of the vote, an increase of 24.2% on the 2010 figure.[6] She was elected to the European Parliament in 2014. James was the party's Home Affairs spokesperson, represented UKIP on the BBC's Question Time, and took part in debates at the Cambridge Union Society.

James was selected by North West Hampshire UKIP to be its candidate for MP in December 2014,[7] having been given a 1.2% chance of winning.[8] However, a few hours after making a speech at the UKIP Spring Conference in Margate, Kent, she stepped down from the Westminster candidacy "for personal reasons".[9]

James made several comments in favour of Russian Russian President Vladimir Putin in an April 2015 interview with Iain Dale, saying she admired him and that he was a strong leader who puts his country first and that he and UKIP may share common ground over their disagreements with the EU.[10]

UKIP leadership[edit]

Following the resignation of UKIP leader Nigel Farage, James stood in the election to succeed him in August 2016. She emerged as one of the frontrunners.[11][12] On 16 September, she was announced as the new leader having received 8,451 votes (46.2% of votes cast); she is the first woman to hold the post.[13][14]


  1. ^ "Diane James becomes UKIP leader". 16 September 2016 – via www.bbc.co.uk. 
  2. ^ "South East – Vote 2014". BBC News. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Ewhurst – Borough election results 2015". Waverley Borough Council. Retrieved 3 June 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Thompson, Owen (2016-09-16). "Why Ukip's new leader Diane James should terrify both Labour and the Tories". Newstatesman.com. Retrieved 2016-09-17. 
  5. ^ a b "Diane James – UKIP". Southern Daily Echo. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "Cameron not for turning despite Eastleigh byelection failure, says Gove". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 12, 2015. Retrieved January 12, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Constituency List: England F-K". Electoralcalculus.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-07-04. 
  9. ^ "UKIP candidate Diane James drops out of election race". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-07-04. 
  10. ^ Smith, Mikey (2015-04-09). "Ukip's Diane James: 'I admire Vladimir Putin for standing up for his country'". Mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-07-04. 
  11. ^ Mason, Rowena (2 August 2016). "Diane James is new favourite to lead Ukip as candidate list is finalised". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 August 2016. 
  12. ^ "UKIP leadership: The main contenders to succeed Nigel Farage". BBC News. 6 July 2016. Retrieved 17 July 2016. 
  13. ^ "Diane James becomes UKIP leader". BBC News. 16 September 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  14. ^ Matthew Goodwin (2016-09-16). "To keep Ukip alive, Diane James must make herself Labour's worst nightmare". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-09-17.