Monday, May 21, 2018
 
Opinion
Ukip deputy leader and immigration spokesperson resign over Henry Bolton’s refusal to quit
 


Ukip leader Henry Bolton’s future has been called into question again after two prominent members of the party resigned over his refusal to quit.

Margot Parker, Ukip’s deputy leader, and John Bickley, the party’s immigration spokesperson, both resigned from their posts over concerns about Mr Bolton.

Mr Bolton has been pressured to resign as party leader after it was revealed Jo Marney, with whom he had a romantic relationship, sent racist text messages about Meghan Markle.

On Sunday, Ukip’s ruling national executive unanimously backed a motion of no confidence in Mr Bolton but he said the party could not afford another leadership contest.

He has also previously said he believes his critics within the party are using his relationship with Ms Marney to oust him.
Fourth leader in 18 months

The fate of Mr Bolton, the fourth leader of Ukip in 18 months, will now be decided by party members at an emergency meeting in February.

Ms Parker, who will continue to be a party member and the MEP for East Midlands, said Mr Bolton’s personal life “took over the job he was elected to do”.

“It would be quicker and cleaner if he came to the conclusion he could go sooner rather than later,” she told BBC Radio Northampton.

“This is taking time away from doing the job. This puts the party in a limbo situation.”

John Bickley, Ukip’s immigration spokesman, also announced he was quitting over Mr Bolton.
‘Sort out his personal life’

“I believe he really needs to go and focus on sorting out his personal life and get away from politics,” he told LBC radio.

“If, by a number of people resigning and showing that they no longer wish to work for him, that helps him make that decision, then fine.”

Mr Bolton announced he had called off his romantic relationship with Ms Marney, but the pair were seen dining together a few days later.

After the no confidence vote, there was speculation Nigel Farage could return to lead Ukip. His spokesman said, however, there was “no chance”.
Return of Farage?

On Monday morning, Ukip chairman Paul Oakden suggested Mr Farage could play a greater role in the party.

“I think everybody would like him to have a greater role in Ukip. Whether that’s as leader or not, I don’t know if I would subject Nigel to that,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
 
 
 
 
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