Lord Pearson of Rannoch, the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, has said he will be standing down from his position next month.
Under the leadership of Lord Pearson, UKIP managed to increase its vote at the general election by 50 per cent, however the party still failed to win its first Westminster MP.
Before the election Lord Pearson said that the aim of his party was to force a hung Parliament, an aim which may have been fulfilled by UKIP. An examination of the election results suggests that as many as 21 seats may have gone to Labour or the Liberal Democrats rather than the Conservatives as a result of Tory voters defecting to UKIP. Had the Conservatives gained those 21 seats they would have had a majority of one.
Despite this Lord Pearson said that UKIP deserved a "better politician" than he, saying that during his time as leader of the party "I have learnt that I am not much good at party politics, which I do not enjoy".
Lord Pearson said that he would stand down on 2 September in order to give the new leader time to get established before the next election which he said "may come sooner than we think". He added that he would continue to do what he could do raise funds for UKIP.
He said, "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.
He then added a final parting shot at the EU and the Coalition government, saying, "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."
The previous leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage, is considered by some to be a possible candidate to resume the role. While he has not ruled himself out, he has previously said that the task of running a British political party and a Europe-wide group of MEPs is too much for one person to do.
Nevertheless he remains by far UKIP's best known face and was the party's most prominent spokesman before, during and after the election, despite his not being leader.