UK Independence Party leader Lord Pearson of Rannoch is to stand down from his position, the party's chairman has said.
Lord Pearson led the party for less than a year after taking over from high-profile MEP Nigel Farage, who quit to concentrate on his failed attempt to oust Commons Speaker John Bercow from Parliament at the general election.
In a message posted on Twitter, party chairman Paul Nuttall said: "Lord Pearson has decided to stand down as leader of Ukip.
Update: Rather than link to the less than impartial BBC version (see the difference in tone between them and the Press Association linked above), here's the full press release:
Leadership Resignation Statement from Lord Pearson of Rannoch
I took over as leader of UKIP last year to see the party through the General Election, and said I would then consider my position. We increased our vote by 50%, and have many exciting plans for the future. But I have learnt that I am not much good at party politics, which I do not enjoy. I am also 68, and need to give more time to my wider interests. These include the treatment of people with intellectual impairment, teacher training, the threat from Islamism and the relationship between good and evil - not to mention my dogs and my family.
So it is right that I should stand down on September 2nd, early in the Parliament, to give a younger leader time to be established before the next election, which may come sooner than we think. There is no shortage of talent in UKIP, and the new leader will have my full support. I will continue to do what I can to raise funds for the party.
UKIP has never been more important for our freedom as a self-governing democracy. We have a coalition government which supports every new power grab by Brussels: supervision of our financial services; an EU diplomatic corps; new police and surveillance powers; bailing out the folly that is the euro.
Much of this is illegal under the Treaties, but that has never worried Brussels or the Luxembourg Court, which now make most of our national law in a secretive process over which Parliament has no control.
History teaches us that trouble lies ahead when a regime is free to break its own laws with impunity, when it is supported by a puppet court, and when its people are powerless to get rid of it. That is what the European Union has become, and the only way out is the door.
Now the British people are to be allowed a referendum on how they elect their MPs, but they are denied the referendum they were promised on whether those MPs should govern the country; on whether we should remain ensnared in the tentacles of the corrupt EU octopus, or be set free to enjoy the fruits of democracy and free trade.
UKIP must go on telling the truth about “Europe”: how we cannot control immigration if we stay in the EU; the madness of throwing £6.7 billion a year in net cash down the Brussels drain when we face savage cuts at home; the terrible suffering in developing countries caused by the Common Agricultural and Fisheries policies; that only some 10% of our GDP goes in trade with the EU, yet its dictats strangle 100% of our economy; that leaving the EU would create jobs, not lose them.
UKIP deserves a better politician than me to lead it and show the country how liberating and enriching life would be outside the EU. I am confident that one will emerge.
Malcolm Pearson August 17th 2010