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

Born in Devizes, the son of John M. Pearson and Rosabel C Moysey, and educated at Eton Collegemarker, Pearson is chairman of the Pearson Webb Springbett (PWS) Group of reinsurance brokers, which he founded in 1964.

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.

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

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. 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, along with Lord Willoughby de Broke. 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 anti-European Union 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 which called for the establishment of a Committee of Inquiry into the implications of UK withdrawal from the European Union. Also, 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 Britain is a member of the EU.

He is also the co-founder of an pro-global free trade think-tank, Global Britain, which has also campaigned against alleged pro-EU bias at the BBC.

He is a supporter of the pro-field sports and conservation 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 Lordsmarker. However, Wilders was prevented from entering the UK on the instructions of the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith. In response, Pearson and Cox accused the Government of "appeasing" militant Islam.

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

During their investigation into the United Kingdom Parliamentary expenses scandal the Daily Telegraph reported that as a peer, Pearson claimed over £100,000 of allowances by naming his £3.7 million house in London as his second home. He also claimed at least £48,471 in travel expenses.

It was also claimed that Pearson fliped his homes when selling his London residence which he had previous claimed as his main home, thus avoided paying an estimated £275,000 in capital gains tax.

References

  1. http://www.lordpearsonofrannoch.co.uk
  2. "Pay up and play the game", Investors Chronicle, 15th December 1978 and "Unsavoury Savonita", The Economist, 16th December 1978
  3. "God's Euro-sceptic" Daily Telegraph, 1 February 1997
  4. Daily Telegraph letters "Don't bomb Kohl". 3 February 1997
  5. The Times
  6. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6243807.stm
  7. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/pabills/200607/european_union_implications_of_withdrawal.htm
  8. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/1866598.stm
  9. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7882953.stm
  10. The Guardian, "Far-right Dutch MP refused entry to UK", 12 February 2009
  11. The Daily Telegraph, "Dutch MP Geert Wilders deported after flying to Britain to show anti-Islamic film", 12 February 2009
  12. " UKIP leadership: Runners and riders", BBC News, 19 November 2009
  13. Former Tory peer favourite for Ukip leadership, The Daily Telegraph, 15 September 2009.
  14. [1], The Daily Telegraph, 30 November 2009.
  15. [2], The Daily Telegraph, 1 December 2009.


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