UKIP Leader Announces Split From Girlfriend After Racist Messages

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OLIVER JJ LANE

UKIP leader Henry Bolton has announced that he has broken up with Jo Marney, following his announcement he left his wife to be with the model, after a national newspaper reported on text messages sent by the woman that made racist remarks about the fiance of Prince Harry.

Bolton announced the split Monday morning and insisted that the scandal would not lead to his resignation as UKIP party leader. Speaking on British breakfast television, the UKIP leader — who has been in post three months — said: “I don’t defend these comments whatsoever and indeed Jo has been suspended pending an investigation under the normal rules of the party for such things and it is against the constitution for the party to be racist in any way. As of last night, the romantic side of our relationship is ended.”

The 25-year-old model and party activist was reported to have made racist remarks about Meghan Markle, the American divorcee who is due to marry the fifth in line to the throne. The Mail on Sunday reported the comments came as part of a text-message conversation about the engagement, in which she is claimed to have written that the “black American” would “taint” the Royal family.

The split is reported to have come as Bolton was told by senior figures in the party to choose between his involvement with the woman and his job as party leader. Among discussion over whether his leadership, and the socially conservative party could survive its leader leaving his wife and young children for a woman half his age, Bolton denied that he would resign.

Of his future, Bolton said: “I have no intention of resigning – and indeed the people who have been calling for my resignation are people who for some time have been trying to work to undermine the leadership of the party in any case,” reports the Daily Telegraph.

The scandal has already cost UKIP one representative in the European Parliament, at least, as MEP Bill Etheridge announced Monday morning that he was leaving the party and his position as spokesman to pursue “Brexit through public meetings and rallies” instead. Of Bolton, he remarked: “I also urge members to contact the NEC to call for the removal of Henry Bolton before his ego finally drags the party down.”

Bolton was elected to the UKIP leadership promising to stabilise the party after a turbulent year, becoming the fourth leader in short succession.

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