William Legge, 10th Earl of Dartmouth

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The Right Honourable
The Earl of Dartmouth
William-(The-Earl-of)-Dartmouth -United-Kingdom-MIP-Europaparlamentby-Leila-Paul-4.jpg
Deputy Chair of UKIP
Assumed office
24th February 2016
Leader Nigel Farage
Diane James
Nigel Farage (Interim)
Preceded by Neil Hamilton
Suzanne Evans
Member of the European Parliament
for South West England & Gibraltar
Assumed office
14 July 2009
Preceded by Roger Knapman
Member of the House of Lords
as Earl of Dartmouth
In office
14 December 1997 – 11 November 1999
Preceded by Gerald, 9th Earl of Dartmouth
Succeeded by House of Lords Act 1999
Personal details
Born (1949-09-23) 23 September 1949 (age 67)
London, United Kingdom
Political party Conservative (Before 2007)
UK Independence Party (2007–
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
Harvard University
Religion Anglicanism
Website williamdartmouth.com

William Legge, 10th Earl of Dartmouth, FCA (born 23 September 1949) is a British politician and hereditary peer, usually known as William Dartmouth.

Dartmouth sits in the European Parliament as MEP for South West England, representing the UK Independence Party (UKIP), of which he is one of two national Deputy Chairmen.[1]

Legge arms

Early life[edit]

Dartmouth is the eldest son of the 9th Earl of Dartmouth by his marriage to Raine McCorquodale, the daughter of romantic novelist Dame Barbara Cartland. Thus, he became a stepbrother of Diana, Princess of Wales upon his mother's second marriage to the 8th Earl Spencer.


Dartmouth was educated at Eton College before going up to Christ Church, Oxford (MA), where he was elected an officer of the Oxford University Conservative Association and later of the Oxford Union Society.[2] He studied further at Harvard Business School, graduating as MBA.

Life and career[edit]

Lord Dartmouth worked as a chartered accountant (FCA 1975), like his father whose titles he inherited in 1997. As Earl of Dartmouth he sat as Conservative peer in the House of Lords until 1999, when the Labour government of Tony Blair removed all but 92 hereditary peers from Parliament. In January 2007, Dartmouth announced he was leaving the Conservative Party in favour of UKIP, citing concerns about the policies of David Cameron (then Leader of HM Opposition).[3]

Dartmouth was elected as the second UKIP MEP for the South West England region in the European Parliament election of 2009 and re-elected in 2014, as the first UKIP MEP. In the European Parliament he sits with the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group and on the Committee on International Trade. He has been the UKIP National Spokesman on Trade since 2010 and in February 2016 became one of the party's two national Deputy Chairmen.[1] He is an author writing many publications for UKIP and the EFDD.

In June 2009, Dartmouth married Melbourne-born former model Fiona Campbell, now socially styled Lady Dartmouth,[4] whose first husband, Matt Handbury, is a nephew of Rupert Murdoch.[5]

Dartmouth has a son, Gerald Glen Kavanagh-Legge (b. 2005), from his previous relationship with the BAFTA award-winning television producer Claire Kavanagh.[6] However, his son, being born out of wedlock, is not entitled to inherit the earldom, which passes only through legitimate male offspring, nor can he use the customary courtesy title of Viscount Lewisham.

The current heir presumptive to the earldom of Dartmouth, and other titles, is the present Earl's younger brother, the author the Hon. Rupert Legge.[7]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • William Legge Esq (1949–1958)
  • The Hon. William Legge (1958–1962)
  • Viscount Lewisham (1962–1997)
  • The Earl of Dartmouth (1997–2009)
  • The Earl of Dartmouth, MEP (from 2009)



  1. ^ a b "UKIP leader Nigel Farage drops Hamilton as deputy chair". BBC News. 24 February 2016. 
  2. ^ "www.oxfordmail.co.uk". www.oxfordmail.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-07-21. 
  3. ^ "Conservative peer defects to UKIP". BBC News. 20 January 2007. Retrieved 14 May 2008. 
  4. ^ LifeStyle (2013-01-15). "Good line for bodice ripper". www.smh.com.au. Retrieved 2016-07-21. 
  5. ^ "The Genealogy of the Murdoch Family". www.kittybrewster.com. Retrieved 2016-07-21. 
  6. ^ "Person Page - 25006". www.thepeerage.com. Retrieved 2016-07-21. 
  7. ^ "Burke's Peerage". Burkespeerage.com. Retrieved 2016-07-21. 

External links[edit]

Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Gerald Legge
Earl of Dartmouth
Member of the House of Lords