Henry Bolton ousted as UKIP leader

Nigel Farage

MEMBERS OF BRITAIN'S Ukip party have voted to remove party leader Henry Bolton from his role following controversy over racist messages sent by his partner.

How he has been humbled by party members after 63 percent of 1,378 ballots cast at an extraordinary general meeting voted to ditch him as leader.

Members ballotted today and reached the decision of making Gerard Batten temporary head of the UKIP party.

Paul Oakley said "Henry will be out after the local elections if he isn't out today" as the party was not prepared for May's contests.

Former party leader Nigel Farage continued to back Bolton afterwards.

But Ukip's general secretary suggested that Mr Bolton's days as leader are numbered even if he survives the vote.

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.

Taking to the stage at Birmingham's International Convention Centre, he said: 'It gives me no pleasure or satisfaction whatsoever that we have had to be here today to make this hard decision.

The news comes as party members have logged a motion of no confidence in his leadership.

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".

"Those of us who have given so many years to opposing the undemocratic nature of the European Union, will not walk into Bolton's whimsical worldview".

"A particular problem is we have got local elections in May - this time in 2014 we were already well down the campaigning route and we have done nothing".

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

Questions will inevitably be raised as to whether the party - hit by bitter in-fighting, resignations and financial uncertainty in recent months - has a future beyond Mr Bolton's leadership.

The bookies' favourite is East of England MEP Tim Aker, followed by London Assembly member David Kurten and - despite having insisted he will not return again - Mr Farage.

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

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