Ukip members vote to oust party leader Henry Bolton
Ukip members vote to oust party leader Henry Bolton
Ukip is to decide this weekend whether Henry Bolton should stay on as leader
Jack Taylor Getty Images
18 February, 2018, 07:46
Henry Bolton, leader of the British political party UKIP, was sacked Saturday after losing a vote of no confidence at a special meeting of members in Birmingham.
The UKIP leader has been ousted after party members backed a motion of no confidence in him.
The troubled UK Independence Party has ousted its leader after a scandal over racist text messages sent by his girlfriend, leaving the future of the right-wing party that played a key role in Brexit once more uncertain.
Bolton had attempted to cling on to the leadership despite a no confidence vote by the ruling national executive committee (NEC) and a revolt by several senior figures in the party in protest at his relationship with model Jo Marney.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph on Friday, Mr Farage 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".
His ex, Ms Marney, posted a number of messages on social media pledging her continued loyalty to Mr Bolton - but bizarrely, also a reference to their sex life.
UKIP will face a fresh leadership election within 90 days after Bolton lost the no confidence motion.
"The alternative is for the party to carry on down the path of self-destruction into irrelevance".
Mr Bolton, a former soldier, who was not paid for his role as Ukip leader, won the position at the helm of the party last September on a platform to professionalise the party and bring together warring factions in Ukip.
"It may be too late to save UKIP, but you never know".
UKIP won significant public support for its eurosceptic stance in the years running up to the European Union referendum, but the Brexit vote left it struggling to find a role.
In an earlier address to the around 1,400 members, Bolton claimed his opponents were "the enemy within" the party.
Gerard Batten, the party's Brexit spokesperson, has taken over as interim leader. The Guardian estimates UKIP will be forced to pay at least £200,000. "There's probably been nothing like that since the Profumo affair or Diana and Dodi", he told Sky News television.
However, the possible appointment of Mr Batten to lead UKIP would prove controversial after he previously branded Islam a "barbaric, regressive ideology" in the wake of last year's Manchester terror attack.
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