The future of UKIP is in question after a number leading party figures resigned over the actions of embattled leader Henry Bolton.
Bolton has come under increasing pressure after his girlfriend’s racist text messages about Meghan Markle were leaked to the press. He first said that he would stand by his girlfriend, 25-year-old model Jo Marney, but quickly changed his mind and admitted that their relationship was “obviously quite incompatible” with his role as UKIP party leader.
On Sunday, UKIP’s ruling national executive committee (NEC) unanimously backed a vote of no confidence in Bolton. However, he has refused to stand down and says that another leadership contest would finish the party. Bolton is already UKIP’s fifth leader since the resignation of Nigel Farage in the wake of the Brexit vote in 2016.
Bolton told ITV’s Preston on Sunday show “If the NEC decides to go down the route of months of further infighting and further negative media scrutiny by deciding to pass a vote of no confidence in me, then I think that the reality is that the party is probably over”.
A number of key UKIP members have resigned of the scandal including MEPs Bill Etheridge and Jonathan Arnott, who have been joined today by the local government, education, trade and immigration spokesmen, as well as the deputy leader and assistant deputy leader.