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21 December 2016

Ukip’s short-lived leader Diane James finally reveals the story behind That Kiss

What a difference 18 days make.

By media mole

Diane James, who was leader of Ukip for just 18 days, has broken her silence about the biggest mystery of British politics this year: what is happening in this picture?

Photo: Getty

Your mole is still scarred from seeing this image – sweating in its burrow, the horror of Nigel Farage’s slippery wet pucker etched on its mind night after horrifying night.

In an interview on BBC 5 Live, James explained what happened:

“Nigel and I spoke just before I went on stage and he said, ‘Look this is what we’re going to do. The plan is I’m going to give you a greeting and there’s going to be a kiss on the cheek.’

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“And we agreed which side the kiss was going to be. But anyway something happened . . . I went to him with the appointed cheek and he went the other way . . . That’s why there was a little bit of awkwardness.”

She also revealed why she stepped down from her role so soon, admitting that she couldn’t get rid of the party’s “old guard” and was frustrated:

 “One can obviously continue to bang your head against a brick wall, going to bed at night hoping things might change and that you might be able to make a breakthrough.

“But when it became clear I couldn’t make that breakthrough, I felt it was the right decision for me and the credibility of the party that someone else assume the mantle.”