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Top 10 most influential politicians outside parliament

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I started off with Nigel Farage, as he prepares to return to the decent obscurity of American talk shows, but immediately ran into questions of definition, so I refined it to mean British people who have affected UK politics without being a member of the Houses of Commons or Lords, or of the Scottish parliament – since Charles Dickens.

1. Nigel Farage. The eternal question of the role of the individual versus social forces, but he has been an effective mobiliser of anti-EU opinion for two decades.

2. Charles Dickens. “Turned down a seat for the Liberals as he thought he could effect change better through his books,” said Rory Martin.

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

3. Florence Nightingale. Transformed healthcare – and the use of statistics. Nominated by John Duffield and Robert Wright.

4. Thomas Steels, railway signalman who proposed the motion sent........

© Independent