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Diane James's Biography

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Diane James was born on 20 November 1959 in Bedford.

Diane James is a Member of the European Parliament for South East England and on 16 September 2016 she became leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), having been deputy Chairman.

Before entering politics, Diane James had built a career advising on strategy and business in the healthcare sector.

Before becoming leader, Diane James was UKIP’s frontbench spokesperson on Justice and Home Affairs.

When Chris Huhne resigned as an MP in 2013 there was a by-election in Eastleigh and the Liberal Democrats's majority was slashed to less than 2,000 with Diane James coming second.

A year later, she became an MEP for South East England in 2014. Her declaration for the three years prior to her election included Non-executive director of ProVen VCT and HFMA Commercial advisor; as well as an unpaid role as Iduna Ventures - Director / company secretary.

On 16 September 2016, she won the battle to be UKIP's leader, taking over from Nigel Farage.

The votes were:

Diane James MEP: 8451

Councillor Lisa Duffy: 4591

Bill Etheridge MEP: 2052

Philip Broughton: 1544

Elizabeth Jones: 1203

However, after only 18 days, Diane James stood down as UKIP leader, saying that she would not be formalising her recent nomination:

"It has become clear that I do not have sufficient authority, nor the full support of all my MEP colleagues and party officers to implement changes I believe necessary and upon which I based my campaign. For personal and professional reasons therefore, I will not take the election process further."

Soon after, Diane James resigned from UKIP and said she would be an independent MEP.

She speaks French and German.

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