Leader of UKIP received vote of no confidence

Leader of UKIP received vote of no confidence

Members of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) voted on Saturday (Feb 17) to remove their leader Henry Bolton following a scandal over his private life, plunging the anti-EU, anti-immigration group into fresh crisis.

Of the almost 1,400 people who took part in the vote at the party's emergency meeting in Birmingham, 63 percent wanted Bolton to leave the position he only took up in September.

Marney has sent a number of racist messages on social media critical of Meghan Markle, fiancee of Queen Elizabeth's grandson, Prince Harry.

Outgoing chairman Paul Oakden said: "Henry Bolton has been removed by the democratic decision of the membership".

Mr Bolton had received the backing of Nigel Farage in an intervention that could have proved influential, he said the party was close to collapse but that Mr Bolton was the right person to lead the party out of his difficulties.

Forced to choose between Ms Marney, a 25-year-old former glamour model, and the party leadership, Mr Bolton announced that he had dumped his girlfriend.

Responding to the possibility of Mr Bolton re-running, UKIP's leader in Wales, Neil Hamilton, told Sky News: "He could stand again, he's no stranger to humiliation".

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In a statement, Gerard Batten - who has appointed fellow MEP Mike Hookem as his deputy - said: "I deeply regret that we found ourselves in this situation, and it gives me no pleasure or satisfaction whatsoever that we have reached this outcome".

Senior Ukip figure Suzanne Evans told the Press Association ahead of the vote that it was "crunch time" for the party and Mr Farage should again take the helm.

He declined to elaborate and did not answer when asked if one was to set up an alternative party. Whichever way you spin Bolton's vision of UKIP's future, the rules and the franchises proposed are profoundly undemocratic.

Speculation is now mounting over whether Farage will return to the fray.

Meanwhile, Mr Bolton's relationship with Jo Marney appears to be set to be resumed.

Bolton was only elected last September following UKIP's performance in last year's general election which saw the party's support slump at the ballot box.

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