The UK Independence Party (UKIP) leadership favourite Steven Woolfe is in a “serious condition” after apparently being punched by a colleague at the European Parliament.
Mr. Woolfe collapsed outside the Strasbourg Parliament’s debating chamber a short while ago and was treated by paramedics before being rushed to hospital. According to reports, he is suffering from bleeding on the brain.
The altercation is said to have come following a “clear the air” meeting between UKIP MEPs.
Update 1455: Mr. Woolfe speaks from hospital “I am feeling brighter, happier, and smiling”
Mr. Woolfe has now released a statement from hospital in Brussels, where he was rushed after collapsing this afternoon. Following tests and regaining consciousness, he said: “The CT scan has shown that there is no blood clot in the brain.
“At the moment I am feeling brighter, happier, and smiling as ever. As a precaution, I am being kept in overnight awaiting secondary tests to make sure everything is fine.
“I would like everyone to know that the parliamentary staff, the UKIP MEPs with me and hospital staff have been brilliant. Their care has been exceptional.
“I am sitting up, and said to be looking well. The only consequence at the moment is a bit of numbness on the left hand side of my face”.
Update 1415: Mr. Woolfe regains consciousness
UKIP MEP for Wales Nathan Gill is reported to have said that Steven Woolfe, who collapsed earlier today has regained consciousness in hospital and is now recovering.
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Nigel Farage, who was reportedly present during the altercation, according to The Telegraph, said: “I deeply regret that following an altercation that took place at a meeting of MEPs this morning that Steven Woolfe subsequently collapsed and was taken to hospital. His condition is serious.”
A UKIP spokesman said: “Steven Woolfe MEP was taken suddenly ill in the European Parliament building in Strasbourg this morning. He has been taken to hospital in the city and he is undergoing tests.”
Breitbart London editor in chief Raheem Kassam, who yesterday launched a rival bid to be UKIP leader, has cancelled a scheduled appearance on the BBC 2’s Daily Politics show out of respect for his party colleague.
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) October 6, 2016
Mr. Woolfe, who celebrates his 49th birthday today, is said to have hit his head after being struck; reports on Twitter have suggested he fell against a window.
Patrick O’Flynn MEP declined to discuss the incident, telling Sky News: “My thoughts and prayers are with Steven.
“I’m desperately, anxiously waiting to hear further news.”
News of his collapse has sparked an outpouring of sympathy on Twitter, with many colleagues tweeting that they are “shocked and saddened” by the news, and wishing Steven a swift recovery.