Ukip leader’s job in peril over girlfriend’s racist Markle comments

Henry Bolton may face no-confidence motion as ‘romantic’ relationship with Jo Marney ends

Henry Bolton said he had ended his relationship with model Jo Marney after the “appalling” text messages she sent to a friend were published. Photograph: Twitter/ @Jo_Marney

Henry Bolton said he had ended his relationship with model Jo Marney after the “appalling” text messages she sent to a friend were published. Photograph: Twitter/ @Jo_Marney

 

Ukip leader Henry Bolton could be forced out of office within days despite dumping his girlfriend, a 25-year-old topless model, after she sent racist tweets about Meghan Markle. Mr Bolton said on Monday that he had ended the “romantic element” of his relationship with Jo Marney on Sunday night and would not be stepping down from the leadership.

Ukip’s former deputy leader Suzanne Evans predicted that the party’s national executive would pass a motion of no confidence in Mr Bolton at a special meeting next Sunday.

“I think he has brought the party into disrepute and, certainly, people have been kicked out of the party for that in the past,” she said.

Mr Bolton said that he and Ms Marney began their relationship on December 26th and that he was not aware of her racist views. Ms Marney, who describes herself on Twitter as a “presenter, music journalist, model, actor and Brexiteer” was suspended from Ukip last week after her racist text messages were leaked.

In the messages, Ms Marney said that Ms Markle’s marriage to Prince Harry would “pave the way for a black king” and that her “seed” would “taint” the royal family. Mr Bolton, who has been married three times, suggested on Monday that he had been forced to choose between Ms Marney and his job as party leader.

‘Not at all happy’

“We had long discussions yesterday afternoon. Neither of us are at all happy with the situation. But, I feel that’s the right decision to take at the moment. It was a mutual decision. We were put in a very difficult position by the party. She’s totally distraught,” he told LBC radio.

Ukip’s West Midlands MEP Bill Etheridge, who resigned as the party’s sports spokesman, said Mr Bolton’s split from Ms Marney had made matters worse.

“This is a desperate move from a desperate man whose career is finished and he cannot understand it and can’t accept it because his towering ego is more important to him than the future of our country and our party. All this has done is to confirm that he is unfit for any form of office,” he said.

A former army officer and police officer who stood as a Liberal Democrat candidate in the 2005 general election, Mr Bolton became Ukip’s fourth leader in 18 months last September.

Backed by former leader Nigel Farage and much of the party’s establishment, Mr Bolton defeated Anne Marie Waters, a Dublin-born anti-Muslim campaigner. Ms Waters immediately left Ukip and established her own far-right party For Britain.