United Kingdom party suspends leader's girlfriend over Markle remarks

Jo Marney's headshot

The leader of Britain's anti-EU, anti-immigration UK Independence Party (UKIP) faced calls to resign on Sunday after his girlfriend reportedly made racist remarks about Prince Harry's fiancee Meghan Markle.

He hit the tabloid newspapers over Christmas when they reported that he had left his wife for 25-year-old model and UKIP member Jo Marney.

In a statement to the paper, Ms Marney said she apologised "unreservedly" for the "shocking language" used in the messages, but said they had been "taken out of context".

Earlier this month, Mr Bolton announced in a letter to UKIP supporters that he had started a relationship with Ms Marney after splitting from his wife, but denied a "clandestine affair". He must go quickly, he must go quietly, as soon as possible.

Bill Etheridge, a Ukip MEP, urged him: "Go now. Ukip does not, has not and will never condone racism", he said.

Social media posts unearthed by the British tabloid the Sun after revealing Marney's relationship with Bolton show her calling London a "shanty town" because of "foreigners bringing their customs over here" and also branding women accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault as "whinging little divas". The opinions I expressed were deliberately exaggerated in order to make a point and have, to an extent, been taken out of context. Nuttall resigned after seven months following the Election, when Ukip's polled less than 2 per cent. Steve Crowther took over until Mr Bolton was elected in September.

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"He intends on making those decisions today, and I'm sure whatever he does will be in the best interests of the party", he told BBC's Sunday Politics. He was followed as leader by Diane James, who lasted just 18 days after feuding with the party's "old guard".

Ukip's National Executive Committee is set to meet on Thursday to decide the party leader's fate.

Party chairman Paul Oakden said he chose to suspend Marney's party membership immediately after he was made aware of the messages.

Calls for the suspension and expulsion of Jo Marney, who describes herself as a "Presenter".

Our revelations come just days before Bolton is due to face a crunch meeting over his own future with Ukip following outrage over his new relationship. "Yet I fully recognized the offense they have caused", she said.

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