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Ukip in turmoil as two top figures quit party after leader refuses to step down

“We need to make it clear to Mr Bolton that his time is up.”

margot Margot Parker Source: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/PA Images

TWO SENIOR MEMBERS of Ukip have quit the party after leader Henry Bolton refused to step aside despite losing a motion of no confidence.

Deputy leader Margot Parker and the party’s immigration spokesman John Bickley have both resigned.

Parker, who is an East Midlands MEP, told BBC Radio Northampton Bolton should go “sooner rather than later”, adding that his “personal life took over the job he was elected to do”.

Meanwhile Bickley told London-based radio station LBC: “We need to make it clear to Mr Bolton that his time is up. It would really be in his interests in going to sort out his personal life and get away from politics.

“By a number of people resigning and saying they don’t want to work with him, that helps make up his decision for him.”

No confidence vote

Yesterday Ukip’s national executive committee unanimously backed a vote of no confidence in Bolton at an emergency meeting. The 54-year-old came under fire last week after it emerged that his girlfriend allegedly made racist remarks about Prince Harry’s fiancée Meghan Markle.

Jo Marney, 25, is said to have written texts saying that “black American” Markle would “taint the royal family”, and her marriage to Prince Harry would pave the way for a “black king”.

henry-34 Henry Bolton Source: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/PA Images

Marney apologised for the comments, saying they were “unnecessary” and “reckless”.

Bolton, who was elected party leader less than four months ago, and Marney separated after the texts were made public.

He has vowed to continue as party leader, despite the no confidence vote. Ukip members will now have to decide whether they accept or reject the committee’s stance.

Read: Ukip leader loses no confidence vote after row over comments made by ex-girlfriend

Read: Ukip leader splits with partner over ‘racist’ Meghan Markle texts

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Órla Ryan

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