UKs far-right UKIP faces leadership crisis; top figures quit

Mr Bolton walked out on wife Mrs Smurova-Bolton 42 and their children for topless model Jo Marney 25 just days before Christmas

Mr Bolton walked out on wife Mrs Smurova-Bolton 42 and their children for topless model Jo Marney 25 just days before Christmas

Parker, meanwhile represents the East Midlands, which includes the rest of Lincolnshire.

He said: "I respect the next steps in the constitutional process and will therefore not be resigning as Party leader".

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage and Arron Banks, who previously funded much of the party, have revealed they are now in talks about a new political project.

"Therefore, it was with great disappointment that I watched my hopes dashed in what has become an nearly farcical scandal".

The founder of Ukip has condemned the party as a "national joke" in the face of a mounting leadership crisis.

Parker told BBC Radio Northampton: "It would be quicker and cleaner if he came to the conclusion he could go sooner rather than later".

Next, a very reluctant Paul Nuttall took on the job.

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Under party rules, the vote of no confidence in Mr Bolton has to be put before an Extraordinary General Meeting of the party within 28 days.

Bolton, a former officer in the British Army, was the surprise victor of the party's leadership contest, blasting past all of the frontrunners in a dramatic upset. Four leaders in less than two years, comical infighting, lurid scandal and a party organization starved of funding.

A defiant Bolton, who left his wife prior to his relationship with 25-year-old Marney became public, said: "I dont believe I have done anything wrong".

Parker, the former deputy leader, said Bolton's personal life was overshadowing his job.

"My own personal life, it's a little bit of a mess at the moment".

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.

On Sunday the party's NEC unanimously backed a vote of no confidence in Bolton - a former Liberal Democrat candidate who once boasted he could kill a badger with his bare hands - but he has so far refused to budge. "I need to sort that out, of course".

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Following a discussion, the members chose to issue a vote of no-confidence in the leader - but were willing to let him resign first.

Members will be told about when and where it will be held in the next 10 days.

Mr Bolton made a statement at a press conference in Folkestone this afternoon to reiterate his intention to continue as leader - despite more than half of his top team stepping down in protest.

'If he forces us to hold an EGM, he will only humiliate himself further.

As well as questions over his conduct in the Jo Marney affair, Bolton was also quizzed on what he had achieved as Ukip leader since being elected in September 2017.

He described the NEC as "unfit for purpose" - claiming it had lost the confidence of a large proportion of Ukip members - and called for "significant and urgent reform".

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