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Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 22 February, 2020

Ukip members vote to remove scandal-hit leader Henry Bolton

Members backed a motion of no confidence by 867 votes (63%) to 500 (37%).

Henry Bolton
Henry Bolton
Image: Gareth Fuller via PA Images

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.

At the party’s Extraordinary General Meeting today in Birmingham, members backed a motion of no confidence by 867 votes (63%) to 500 (37%).

Bolton, aged 54, came under fire in early January after it emerged that his girlfriend allegedly made racist remarks about Prince Harry’s fiancée Meghan Markle.

25-year-old Jo Marney 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”.

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

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

On 21 January, Ukip’s national executive committee unanimously backed a vote of no confidence in Bolton at an emergency meeting.

However, Bolton vowed to continue as party leader, despite the no-confidence vote. The motion was today taken to Ukip members to decide whether they accept or reject the committee’s stance.

Two senior members of Ukip, deputy leader Margot Parker and the party’s immigration spokesman John Bickley, quit the party after Bolton refused to step aside last month.

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

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

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