Henry Bolton to fight on as Ukip leader despite revolt

PUBLISHED: 16:32 22 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:38 22 January 2018

Ukip leader (at time of publication) Henry Bolton

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Embattled Ukip leader Henry Bolton has resisted calls to quit, insisting that he was focusing on the fight for Brexit.

Despite a vote of no confidence in his leadership by the party's national executive committee (NEC) and the resignation of a series of key figures, Mr Bolton insisted he would fight on.

Mr Bolton hit out at the NEC, which he said needed "significant and urgent reform", and the "factional in-fighting" within the party.

Speaking to reporters outside a Folkestone hotel, he said: "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."

The resignations came after the NEC backed a motion of no confidence in Mr Bolton on Sunday following the disclosure his girlfriend had sent racist messages about Meghan Markle.

Mr Bolton has faced a stream of calls to resign since the highly offensive messages sent by Jo Marney, 25, were published by the Mail on Sunday.

He echoed US President Donald Trump's pledge to "drain the swamp" as he vowed to "remove" people who had been involved in Ukip's internal squabbles.

He said it was "time to put an end to the factional in-fighting within the party and to remove those who have been a part of that".

Mr Bolton hit out at Ukip's national executive committee (NEC), which passed a motion of no confidence in his leadership.

The NEC was "unfit for purpose" and required "significant and urgent reform", he said.

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