West Midlands UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge quits as party spokesman and demands resignation of leader Henry Bolton

West Midlands UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge quits as party spokesman and demands resignation of leader Henry Bolton

UKIP leader Henry Bolton has come under further pressure to resign, after West Midlands UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge announced he was standing down as a party spokesman.

Mr Etheridge quit as the party’s sports spokesman and issued a statement urging party members to demand that Mr Bolton be forced out of his job.

The row follows reports that Bolton’s girlfriend, Jo Marney, made racist remarks about Prince Harry’s fiancée Meghan Markle.

The UKIP leader has attempted to end the controversy by dumping her, saying that the relationship was “obviously quite incompatible” with his position as party chief and the “romantic” side of their relationship had ended.

But he rejected calls to resign, saying: “This will be a question for the party so it’s up to the party what happens in relation to my leadership, I’m not going to resign.”



West Midlands UKIP MEP

Mr Etheridge announced on Twitter that he was quitting as the party’s sports spokesman, a role the cricket-loving MEP has held since October 2017.

And he said he was calling on UKIP party members to petition the party’s National Executive Committee for Mr Bolton’s removal.

Mr Etheridge said: “All we get day after day, despite the hard work of our activists, is talk about issues with his personal life, which, frankly, I don’t care about.

“But the way he is handling it is unprofessional.

“He’s a political lightweight, completely out of his depth and, frankly, he needs to move away.”

The Mail On Sunday printed texts it said had been sent by Ms Marney, including use of the word “Negro” and a message reading “This is Britain, not Africa” during a discussion about the royal engagement.

Mr Bolton said his critics had used Ms Marney to attack him and said he would “stand by” her despite the relationship ending.

“One of the worrying aspects about this on a political level is that people have used Jo – and they have been able to, of course, because of her comments – in order to attack me,” he said.

“These are people who have tried in the past to attack me, have found no way of doing it, so now they are going at it through this.”

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today that “however appalling and insulting” the comments were “I honestly don’t believe that those are her core beliefs”.

Ms Marney was “utterly devastated” by what had happened and “I’m going to stand by her and the family in terms of trying to put her life back together”.

“This is not a cold parting of the ways,” he said.

0

Latest Tweets

  • GenesisRadioBhm
    Bar Room Anthems, 24 Feb 2018 24 Feb 2018 - Rock & Pop at Hennessey's BarFREE The Bar R https://t.co/AcUBmPqGsm @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about 4 hours ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    How the number of EU workers heading to West Midlands has plunged since Brexit vote The https://t.co/57De2ZnHRL @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about 4 hours ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    Delta Autumn, 23 Feb 2018 23 Feb 2018 - Rock & Pop at Dark HorseFresh off their EP laun https://t.co/tZF6Fq5cLQ @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about 10 hours ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    Mayor of Wolverhampton Elias Mattu dies aged just 59 The Mayor of Wolverhampton has di https://t.co/nR6MLRMJOg @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about 10 hours ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    Le Freak, 23 Feb 2018 23 Feb 2018 - Club at The Night Owl https://t.co/sBtaeHvfxf @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about 16 hours ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    Boris Johnson urged to scrap plans for a bridge to France and spend the money on the NH https://t.co/lAc5t2LKbr @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about 16 hours ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    Riggerz, 23 Feb 2018 23 Feb 2018 - Rock & Pop at Tower of Song https://t.co/YyBLCOxKtz @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about 22 hours ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    MP attacked and robbed by six muggers as he returns home from Parliament An MP was atta https://t.co/bSG2UPCcKz @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about 22 hours ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    The Elvis Presley Songbook, 23 Feb 2018 23 Feb 2018 - Rock & Pop at Wharf Tavern https://t.co/Dwk4hgk4ED @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about a day ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    Police charge victims of car crime hundreds of pounds to give back their stolen vehicle https://t.co/FUMha4kHd2 @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about a day ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    The DiscoTek, 22 Feb 2018 22 Feb 2018 - Club at Lab 11 https://t.co/XCUDaJxJv8 @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about a day ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    £100m fund to support Midland SMEs launches - how companies can benefit Three funds pro https://t.co/kcXwzyAm3M @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about a day ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    La Creation, 22 Feb 2018 22 Feb 2018 - Club at Mooch Bar https://t.co/dkJ8dPEJBR @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about a day ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    University of Birmingham leads new rail research hub A new research centre which will f https://t.co/9t4gW4GpeA @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about a day ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    The Platform, 22 Feb 2018 22 Feb 2018 - Rock & Pop at The Sun at the Station https://t.co/knh5a8xdKF @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about a day ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    MPs endorse Labour council candidate who claimed ISIS doesn't exist Two Birmingham MPs https://t.co/wHbXp2bLo0 @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about a day ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    Birmingham Book Club, 22 Feb 2018 22 Feb 2018 - Spoken Word at Waterstone's, High Stree https://t.co/5Sa7Wv9KPU @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about 2 days ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    UKIP leadership hopeful Bill Etheridge explains how he would save his party - Jonathan https://t.co/TaAVdf5KGz @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about 2 days ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    Exit Velocity, 21 Feb 2018 21 Feb 2018 - Jazz at Birmingham ConservatoireContemporary a https://t.co/Di2BKPi3FT @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about 2 days ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    Meet the first 'people power' Birmingham election candidates to be selected The indepen https://t.co/7sMmGRshEJ @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about 2 days ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    How To Create A Podcast, 21 Feb 2018 21 Feb 2018 - Workshop at Impact HubAquila will la https://t.co/0pdhUZRWq7 @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about 3 days ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    Should Birmingham build a velodrome for the 2022 Commonwealth Games Midland MPs have gi https://t.co/RgOAVpnPZH @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about 3 days ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    The Courtesy Group, The Nature Centre, 21 Feb 2018 21 Feb 2018 - Rock & Pop at The Cuba https://t.co/WIhulivi8L @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about 3 days ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    All you need to know about new ‘cycle highway’ in Perry Barr The wheels are now rollin https://t.co/Kuq4f9WIJa @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about 3 days ago
  • GenesisRadioBhm
    Nostalgia Night, 21 Feb 2018 21 Feb 2018 - Rock & Pop at The Indie Lounge https://t.co/X9XWEVDyDM @jamtubetv @thenaturalmonk about 3 days ago