Photo via the EU Reporter
The Ukip leader, Henry Bolton, has refused to resign despite a mass walkout of the senior figures of his party as a protest regarding his leadership.
The former officer of the army is experiencing widespread calls to quit following a scandal over racist text messages that was sent by his former girlfriend. On Monday, a day after the other members of the national executive committee of Ukip unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in Bolton, several members of his frontbench team stepped down.
However, Bolton has promised to stay on and face the fight with his critics in the party.
Talking to some reporters outside a hotel that is located in Folkestone, the Ukip leader said that it was up to the members of the party to remove him. Following the vote of no confidence of the NEC, an emergency general meeting is scheduled to be held within 28 days so that members can decide whether Bolton should stay in the position.
“I respect the next steps in the constitutional process and will therefore not be resigning as party leader,” said Bolton. “I repeat: I shall not be resigning as party leader.”
“Instead, during the next four weeks I shall be calling for the coordination and mobilisation of all Leave campaigns, to ensure that the Government delivers full independence from the European Union in all areas of government and administration and I shall be calling for the party itself to mobilise to support this agenda.”
Bolton continued: “This is the most pressing matter facing our country, and I am determined not to allow the NEC to distract the party away from participating forcefully in the independence debate.”
As an attack to his critics in the party, Bolton stated: “Without reflecting at all on its individual members, the NEC, as presently constituted, is unfit for purpose and has severely handicapped the party’s progress and political delivery for some years, as all recent Ukip leaders will attest.
“It has not only lost the confidence of me as the party leader in its ability to act objectively as the party’s governing body; it has also lost the confidence of a large proportion of the membership.”
Bolton said that the NEC of his party required “significant and urgent reform” and that he would be proposing for a new constitution, which includes reforms to the executive committee.
Echoing Donald Trump, the President of the United States, he stated: “In a single phrase, it is time to ‘drain the swamp’.”
The vow of Bolton to stay on comes despite a number of senior figures of the Ukip calling on him to step down following revelations that his ex-girlfriend, Jo Marney, a 25-year-old glamour model, had sent a series of racist text messages regarding the actress Meghan Markle. Markle is set to marry Prince Harry this coming May. The Ukip leader said that he had ended the “romantic element” of his relationship with Marney after the said texts were made public.
As the said scandal continued on, Margot Parker, his deputy leader, and Mike Hookem, his assistant deputy, were among those who stepped down from their posts and criticised his leadership.
Parker stated: “It would be quicker and cleaner if he came to the conclusion he could go sooner rather than later.
“This is taking time away from doing the job. This puts the party in a limbo situation.”