Published: Sun, February 18, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

UKIP leader Henry Bolton sacked after Meghan Markle 'racism' scandal

UKIP leader Henry Bolton sacked after Meghan Markle 'racism' scandal

The party will announce an interim leader later and an leadership election will take place within 90 days.

Leaked texts from Marney which contained racist and derogatory comments about Prince Harry's fiancée Meghan Markle only added to the pressure on Bolton, who then broke up with the glamour model in order to stay on as leader and fight for his position.

Activists had gathered in Birmingham today (Saturday, February 17) to decide whether to support a no confidence motion in the embattled leader.

The party is now preparing for its EGM after leader Henry Bolton lost a vote of no confidence in January.

Backed by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage to turn the party's fortunes around, Bolton was instead humbled by party members, when 63 percent of 1,378 ballots cast at an Extraordinary General Meeting were for his removal.

The move now leaves the party facing a further period of uncertainty, with Mr Bolton forced out after only being elected in September a year ago.

Earlier, Mr Bolton said he had received a good luck message on his phone from his controversial ex-girlfriend Ms Marney before the EGM.

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Ex-leader Farage, who is still a regular fixture on TV and radio in Britain, continued to back Bolton after the scandal.

"I understand the scrutiny and public interest but its been going on for six weeks".

Mr Bolton, who has called for sweeping changes to the way the party is run, claimed he was the victim of rivals "stirring the pot". "It's been an experience I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy... in hindsight I would have probably dealt with certain personal elements of it in a different way", he said. He would not say if he planned to stand in the forthcoming leadership contest but said: 'I want Ukip to be a populist party.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said: "I believe it would be better to allow Mr Bolton, with all his faults, the chance to turn Ukip into an electoral machine again".

The cash-strapped party faces a series of challenges, including the prospect of a hefty legal bill over a defamation action brought by Rotherham's three Labour MPs against MEP Jane Collins.

"The alternative is for the party to carry on down the path of self-destruction into irrelevance".

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