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The Lord Pearson of Rannoch

Assumed office 
27 November 2009
Preceded by Nigel Farage

Born 20 July 1942 (1942-07-20) (age 67)
Birth name Malcolm Everard MacLaren Pearson
Political party UK Independence
Other political
Conservative (until 2007)

Malcolm Everard MacLaren Pearson, Baron Pearson of Rannoch (born 20 July 1942) is a British businessman and the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). He is a member of the House of Lords.[1]

Born in Devizes, the son of John M. Pearson and Rosabel C Moysey, and educated at Eton College, Pearson had a successful career in international insurance until he resigned on becoming leader of UKIP.

He was made a life peer on 18 June 1990 as Baron Pearson of Rannoch, of Bridge of Gaur in the District of Perth and Kinross, sitting as a Conservative. He entered the House for services to the insurance industry, particularly his anti-corruption stance on the 'Savonita' affair[2].

In February 1997, Hugo Gurdon published an interview in the Daily Telegraph with Pearson, discussing his metaphysical and political beliefs and motivations [3][4]

Pearson became Treasurer of the governing body to the Polytechnic sector, Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA) serving from 1983-1992.

A daughter from his second marriage, born in 1980, introduced him to the world of learning disabilities for which he has done extensive work and fundraising, in particular for the Camphill movement.

Pearson is a euro-sceptic of long standing.[5] In May 2004, he called for voters to back the UK Independence Party (UKIP). Along with three other Conservative peers, he was then expelled by the Conservative Party on 30 May. He subsequently said that he would probably sit as an "independent Conservative". He threatened to quit the Conservatives to join UKIP, which he did on 7 January 2007,[6] along with Lord Willoughby de Broke.[7] He criticised the Conservative Party's leadership for being "silly" and argued that they should try to get UKIP members back into the fold by adopting more eurosceptic policies themselves. He has tabled a number of unsuccessful bills in the House of Lords demanding Britain's withdrawal from the European Union. In November 2006 he tabled the European Union (Implications of Withdrawal) Bill[8] which called for an official cost benefit analysis of our EU membership. He joined the United Kingdom Independence Party sometime afterwards, citing David Cameron's refusal to tell the British people about the disadvantages they suffer because of Britain's membership of the EU.

He is also the co-founder of a pro free trade think-tank, Global Britain, which publishes research on the BBC's EU coverage and on the cost of UK membership, in bullet-point format.

He is a supporter of the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, serving as chairman of its deerstalking committee.

Pearson has been married three times: to Francesca Frua de Angeli in 1965, with whom he had one daughter and whom he divorced in 1970; to the Hon. Mary Charteris in 1977, with whom he had two daughters and whom he divorced in 1995; and to Caroline St Vincent Rose in 1997.

In February 2009, Lord Pearson courted controversy when he and cross-bencher Baroness Cox invited Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders to show the anti-Islam film Fitna before the House of Lords.[9] However, Wilders was prevented from entering the UK on the instructions of the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith.[10] In response, Pearson and Cox accused the Government of "appeasing" militant Islam.[11]

In September 2009 Pearson announced his candidacy in the 2009 UKIP leadership election.[12].[13] He won the election and was announced the new leader of UKIP on 27th November 2009.

Expenses scandal

Shortly after Pearson's election as UKIP leader in 2009, the Daily Telegraph reported that he had claimed more than £100,000 in Parliamentary expeses by designating his £3.7m home in London as a second home, and his address in Scotland as his main residence. Previously he had spoken of the disconnect between ordinary people and politicians caused by the expenses scandal.[14]


External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Nigel Farage
Leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party
2009 – present


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