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Alan Sked

alan sked, alan sked ukip
Alan Sked FRHistS born 22 August 1947 is a British academic and politician He is Professor Emeritus of International History at the London School of Economics, founded the party now known as the UK Independence Party and stood as a candidate in several parliamentary elections


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Academic career
  • 3 Political career
    • 31 After the 2014 European Parliament elections
  • 4 Elections contested
  • 5 Partial bibliography
  • 6 Notes
  • 7 Sources
  • 8 External links

Early lifeedit

Sked was educated at Allan Glen's School in Glasgow, before going on to study Modern and Medieval History at the University of Glasgow, followed by a DPhil in Politics at Merton College, Oxford

Academic careeredit

Sked's doctoral supervisor at Oxford was A J P Taylor, who was a major influence on him In particular, Sked's writings on the Habsburg Monarchy owe much to Taylor, although their interpretations are very different In addition to writing on Habsburg history, he has written texts on British political and European history His books have been translated into German, Italian, Czech, Portuguese, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese

At LSE he teaches courses on US and modern intellectual history, and on the history of sex, race and slavery Sked is a member of the British-American Project, which exists to promote Britain’s political ties to the US12

Political careeredit

In the 1970 general election he stood at Paisley as a candidate for the Liberal Party which later combined with the SDP to form the Liberal Democrats, but later rejected the party's support for what would become the European Union EU He served for ten years 1980–1990 as Convenor of European Studies, a postgraduate MA programme at LSE, where he examined many theses on the EU and served as joint chairman of LSE's European Research Seminar He came to believe that the EU was corrupt and anti-democratic, and a liability to the British economy He was a founding member of the Bruges Group and remained a member until 1991, when he was expelled by its executive committee This was because in November 1991 he had founded the Anti-Federalist League AFL, an anti-EU political party that ran candidates, including Sked, in the 1992 general election, when he contested Bath

In 1993, Sked stood in two parliamentary by-elections; one at Newbury, where he shared a platform with Enoch Powell, who spoke in his support, and a second, soon after, at Christchurch On both occasions he came fourth after the major parties there were 19 candidates at Newbury Encouraged by these results, the AFL changed its name that September to the UK Independence Party UKIP Sked, however, resigned the leadership shortly after the 1997 general election, citing party factionalism and the growing influence of radical, far-right opinion in the party's ranks, saying that it was "doomed to remain on the political fringes"3 He also opposed its plan to take up places in the European Parliament if seats should be won there, wanting all party efforts to be concentrated on the UK Parliament

Shortly before each subsequent national election 1999, 2001 and 2004 he published articles accusing UKIP of extremism and incompetence A few days before the 2004 election to the European Parliament, in which UKIP increased its representation from three to twelve seats, he criticised his former party in a national newspaper, saying, "They are racist and have been infected by the far-right"1 He also went on record as saying, "UKIP is even less liberal than the British National Party BNP Certainly, there is a symbiosis between elements of the parties,"2 and, "UKIP's MEPs are a standing joke at Strasbourg, where their attendance record, even by the standards of most MEPs, is relatively poor and where, according to independent research by the European Studies centre at the London School of Economics, the three often vote in different ways on the same issue"4

In 2003, just before the Iraq War, he wrote that opposition to the militaristic foreign policy of George W Bush within Europe was not born of principle, but rather stemmed "largely from jealousy of the United States" and a purported knowledge that European countries, united or otherwise, "have no military, diplomatic, moral or economic resources with which to challenge the United States"5

In September 2013, he founded New Deal, a political party described as "a new left-of-centre, anti-EU party which he hopes will challenge Labour", and appeared on the BBC TV Daily Politics show to discuss it67 New Deal was de-registered in 2015, having never fielded a single candidate in any election

After the 2014 European Parliament electionsedit

Following the 2014 European elections, he further criticised UKIP as "Frankenstein's monster" and said that he intended to stand against the Labour leader Ed Miliband in the 2015 general election He also described his former UKIP colleague Nigel Farage as a "dim-witted racist"8

In an article dated 21 October 2015 for The National Interest, Sked wrote the following regarding Nigel Farage and the state of UKIP under his leadership,

"After I stepped down to return to academic life, however, the party came under control of a preposterous mountebank named Nigel Farage, who reoriented it to the far right The clause about a lack of prejudices was abolished and all sorts of nasty statements were made against blacks, Muslims and gays Former members of the National Front were allowed to work for the party or become candidates The party itself has deliquesced into a cult around Farage, whose electoral failure in 2015 has made him an object of scorn in the media and prompted his financial backers to desert him Farage has become a convenient figure with which to frighten moderate voters about the consequences of fulfilling my party’s original mission—withdrawal from the European Union"9

Elections contestededit

UK Parliament elections

Date of election Constituency Party Votes  %
1970 general election Paisley Liberal 2,918 6210
1992 general election Bath Anti-Federalist League 117 0211
1993 by-election Newbury Anti-Federalist League 601 1012
1993 by-election Christchurch Anti-Federalist League 878 1613
1997 general election Romsey UK Independence Party 1,824 3514

Partial bibliographyedit

  • Sked, A & Cook, C eds 1976 Crisis and Controversy: Essays in Honour of AJP Taylor London: Macmillan ISBN 0-333-18635-4
  • Sked, A & Cook, C 1979 Post-war Britain: A political history
  • Sked, A 1979 The Survival of the Habsburg Empire: Radetzky, the imperial army and the class war, 1848 London: Longmans ISBN 0-582-50711-1
  • Sked, A 1987 Britain's decline: problems and perspectives Oxford: Basil Blackwell ISBN 0-631-15084-6
  • Sked, A & Cook, C 1993 Post-war Britain: a political history 1945–1992 4th ed Harmondsworth: Penguin ISBN 0-14-017912-7
  • Sked, A 2001 The Decline and Fall of the Habsburg Empire, 1815–1918 2nd ed London: Longman ISBN 0-582-35666-0
  • Sked, A 2007, Metternich and Austria: An Evaluation London: Palgrave MacMillan ISBN 1-4039-9114-6
  • Sked, A 2011 Radetzky Imperial Victor and Military Genius London: IB Tauris


  1. ^ Andy Beckett 6 November 2004 "Friends in high places" The Guardian Retrieved 28 March 2017 
  2. ^ "British American Project" Sourcewatch Retrieved 28 March 2017 
  3. ^ "Scottish election: UK Independence Party profile" BBC News 13 April 2011 Retrieved 2 July 2013 
  4. ^ The 1975 Referendum on Europe, Vol I: Reflections of the Participants, Mark Baimbridge ed, Exeter, 2007: article "Reflections of a Eurosceptic", Alan Sked, pp 140–147 imprint-academiccom
  5. ^ Sked 2003
  6. ^ "UKIP founder Alan Sked launches New Deal party" BBC News 13 September 2013 Retrieved 20 April 2014 
  7. ^ Malik, Shiv 8 September 2013 "Ukip founder creates new leftwing anti-EU party" The Guardian Retrieved 20 April 2014 
  8. ^ Stuart Jeffries 26 May 2014 "Ukip founder Alan Sked: 'The party has become a Frankenstein's monster'" The Guardian Retrieved 27 May 2014 
  9. ^ "The Case for Brexit" The National Interest 21 October 2015 Retrieved 28 March 2017 
  10. ^ UK General Election results 1970, politicsresourcesnet Retrieved 14 October 2014
  11. ^ The Guardian, 11 April 1992
  12. ^ Constituency profile: Newbury, The Guardian Retrieved 13 October 2014
  13. ^ Constituency profile: Christchurch, The Guardian Retrieved 13 October 2014
  14. ^ Romsey Archive, politicsresourcesnet Retrieved 23 June 2016
  1. Sked, Reflections of a Eurosceptic, p 144
  2. Generally assumed at the timeby whom
  3. Sked, Reflections of a Eurosceptic, p 146
  4. ^ The People 6 June 2004
  5. ^ Sunday Telegraph 30 May 2004


  • Sked, Alan 2003 "Bush as Strategist" Foreign Policy 135: 6–7 JSTOR 3183579 

External linksedit

  • Alan Sked page on the LSE website
  • Works by or about Alan Sked in libraries WorldCat catalog
Party political offices
Preceded by
New office
Leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party
Succeeded by
Craig Mackinlay

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