Despite mass resignations by senior UKIP figures
Dismissing calls to quit after the party’s executive committee backed a motion of no confidence in him yesterday, UKIP’s leader Henry Bolton has clarified today that he will not quit as it is “time to drain the swamp” of malcontents within the party.
The emergency action against Bolton (by the party’s National Executive Committee) was followed in the wake of revelations that his ex-girlfriend reportedly sent racist messages about Prince Harry’s fiancée Meghan Markle. Following this, a series of senior UKIP figures, along with the deputy leader and assistant deputy leader, have quit their roles and called on Bolton to resign.
In his statement today, Bolton said: “I advised the NEC during our meeting not to expose the party to the financial and political cost of pursuing that course of action, including the political cost of possibly yet another leadership contest.
“I urged the NEC instead to focus on the unity and cohesion of the party and on the need to concentrate on such matters as the local government election campaign and the necessity of mobilising our efforts to ensure the government delivers true independence in all areas of government and administration when we leave the European Union.
“I respect the next steps in the constitutional process and will therefore not be resigning as party leader. I repeat I shall not be resigning as party leader.
“However, despite a significant part of his top team resigning, Bolton said today that he “may” try to fight on as UKIP leader…”
Follwing this announcement, Bolton refused to take questions at the end.