UKIP’s new Bombay-born leader

Freddy Vachha, the new leader of UKIP

A British political party now has an ethnic minority leader – but it’s not the party you might expect.

The United Kingdom Independence Party was (under Nigel Farage’s leadership) the winner of the 2014 European Parliamentary elections in the UK, polling 4.4 million votes and electing 24 MEPs. This success and continuing pressure on David Cameron’s Conservative Party was the biggest reason why Cameron agreed to hold a referendum on Britain’s EU membership in 2016.

So UKIP was to a very large extent responsible for Brexit.

However post-Brexit the party has lurched from one disaster to another, losing most of its elected representatives, activists and voters to Farage’s Brexit Party, which in turn collapsed at last December’s general election.

After a succession of comically inept leaders, it’s slightly surprising that UKIP still (just about) exists. Today it announced yet another new leader, London regional chairman Freddy Vachha.

The leadership had been vacant since the resignation of Dr Richard Braine last October. Discounting interim/caretaker leaders, Mr Vachha is the sixth UKIP leader since Farage stepped down following the Brexit referendum victory less than four years ago.

Freddy Vachha addressing the media today

Freddy Vachha was born in December 1957 in Bombay (now known as Mumbai), India, son of a Parsi father and a British mother.

An accountant and tax consultant, Mr Vachha was runner-up in last year’s UKIP leadership election. His first press conference as leader was held today at the foot of Winston Churchill’s statue in London.

We might glean some idea of the professionalism we can expect from UKIP by glancing at Mr Vaccha’s CV which he presented during last year’s leadership election (click below).

This crank organisation once managed to win a nationwide UK election and changed the course of British politics: perhaps that tells us something about the essential fragility of the party system and is a sign of hope for our movement!

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