NEWS

7 Things That Lasted Longer Than Diane James' Tenure As Ukip Leader

They only had to beat 18 days.

05/10/2016 10:07
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS via Getty Images
Ukip's leadership was thrown into chaos when Diane James resigned late on Tuesday night as Ukip leader

Diane James has stepped down as Ukip leader, sparking a flurry of speculation about who could succeed her, the return of Nigel Farage and even whether she was ever officially leader anyway. 

The MEP, who won a large majority in the party’s leadership election last month, resigned after just 18 days - making her one of Britain’s shortest-serving leaders of a major political party.

Some people speculated that she had at least lasted longer than promises made by the Brexit campaign in the run up to June’s EU referendum.

But she faced being trumped in tenure-length by seven other surprising phenomenon:

1. Ukip’s previous female leader

On a technicality, James was eclipsed by her predecessor-but-one Suzanne Evans - after reports she could never have officially become leader in the first place.

James’ nomination paper, sent to the Electoral Commission, could have been voided if reports are true that she wrote the words “under duress” in Latin underneath her signature. The claim has not been verified. 

That would make Evans a longer-serving Ukip leader, trumping her with a 72-hour reign that began when Nigel Farage resigned in May 2015 and ended with his infamous un-resignation.

2. Ed Balls on Strictly

The former shadow chancellor has officially graced the nation’s televisions for Saturday night entertainment for longer than James remained leader. 

Ed Balls has been competing in series 14 of Strictly Come Dancing since September 3 - 13 days before the new Ukip leader’s election.

3. Sam Allardyce as England manager

The disgraced England boss was booted out of his job by the Football Association after 67 days following a newspaper sting. 

Allardyce was filmed by the Telegraph advising businessmen how to get around rules on transferring players, resigning 24-hours later be became the shortest serving full-time England manager in sporting history.

4. Nigel Farage’s pub crawls

The Times’ Red Box editor Matt Chorley joked in his morning briefing that Farage had probably had pub crawls that lasted longer than James stayed leader.

5. Chris Evans on Top Gear 

The new figure that couldn’t face the huge challenge of living up to the hype and stardom of their predecessor. Sound familiar?

Chris Evans lasted 19 days as Top Gear host, resigning from the role filled formerly by Jeremy Clarkson.

6. Nigel Farage’s moustache

The fated facial hair, sported by Farage after he resigned from Ukip, could too have lasted longer than James.  

7. Everyday household goods

Famous Gogglebox couple Steph and Dom, best known for their extensive alcohol collection and constant on-screen drinking, also got in on the joke,

The pair along with other social media users revealed they had owned household goods for longer than James was Ukip leader.

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