Henry Bolton today threatened to sue Ukip after being ousted as leader – as his ex girlfriend Jo Marney hinted they are back together.
The former Army officer, 54, was toppled from the top job when party members decided to support a no confidence vote against him at a crunch meeting today.
His political career ended in scandal after his ex Ms Marney, a former glamour model 30 years his junior, was exposed for sending racist texts about Meghan Markle.
Speaking after today’s vote, Mr Bolton revealed he is considering launching legal action against against Ukip’s NEC over the way he has been treated.
Meanwhile, Ms Marney – a former glamour model – sent a series of tweets declaring her love for the father-of-three and hinting that they will pick their relationship back up.
She wrote on Twitter: ‘I love the bloke and that’s that. UKIP leader or dustman.
‘I may be many things but shallow isn’t one of them. We’ve stood by each other throughout this and I will continue to do so.’
Henry Bolton was today ousted as Ukip leader after his ex girlfriend was exposed for sending racist texts about Meghan Markle.
Jo Marney declared her love for the ousted Ukip leader in a series of tweets sent after the result
Jo Marney tweeted shorty after the vote was announced to hint that she would resume her relationship with Henry Bolton now he is no longer Ukip leader
The beleaguered Ukip chief has faced growing calls to quit after his ex girlfriend Jo Marney (who he is pictured with) was exposed for sending racist messages about Meghan Markle
In another message she wrote: ‘Pffft. Bunch of muppets. My love for Henry is unconditional of political leaderships. I ain’t going anywhere.’
How long did Henry Bolton last as leader and what happened to spark his removal?
Henry Bolton is elected leader of Ukip in a shock election result.
Few people had heard of him outside the party, but Nigel Farage had given the former Army officer his considerable backing.
He leaves his wife Tatiana Smurova and their two young children to start a relationship with former glamour model Jo Marney.
The affair sees him hit the headlines and plunge the crisis-prone party into fresh turmoil.
Racists texts sent by Ms Marney about Prince Harry’s fiance Meghan Markle emerge in the press.
In them she said the US actress would ‘taint’ the Royal Family by joining it.
Late January 2018:
The Ukip NEC call a meeting at which Mr Bolton’s leadership is put to a confidence vote.
Every member of the NEC apart from Mr Bolton votes against him – but he vows to carry on as leader.
Ukip members vote to oust Mr Bolton as leader at an extraordinary general meeting in Birmingham.
But Mr Bolton comes out fighting – threatening to launch legal action against the party for how he has been treated.
Mr Bolton revealed he had received text messages from both Ms Marney and his estranged wife Tatiana Smurova with words of support for him.
And he vowed to now focus on dealing with his complicated private life, telling reporters: ‘I’ve said all along that once we get the EGM out of the way then I would spend time sorting out my private life.’
He revealed that both Ms Marney and his wife had sent him words of encouragement over text this morning.
He said: ‘This morning Jo texted me to wish me good luck, and so did my wife.’
Today members voted at a meeting in Birmingham to back the NEC and boot him out as leader – meaning the party is facing electing its fifth leader in less than two years.
Ukip frontbencher Gerard Batten will fill in as interim leader – and immediately took to the stage to say he thought the right decision had been made.
And asked what his message was to Mr Bolton – who is threatening legal action against Ukip over his treatment, he said it was: ‘Get on with the rest of your life.’
But Mr Bolton predicted the party will struggle to survive without him, saying: ‘I think it is going to be very difficult to unite the party.’
And he said he is looking at launching legal action against Ukip’s NEC over how he has been treated by party collegues.
Some 1,378 Ukip members were given ballots to vote, and 63 per cent voted to ditch Mr Bolton as leader.
He said: ‘There are many legal issues that have arisen throughout this process over the last few weeks. I will continue to take legal advice and if it’s appropriate may take legal action.’
Interim leader Mr Batten, who did not rule out standing for the leadership on a permanent basis, said he is upbeat about the party’s future.
He said: ‘I feel optimistic that Ukip can and will grow stronger and more successful because ordinary patriotic people want, need and deserve a party that represents their interests.
Who is Ukip interim leader Gerard Batten and what has he said about Islam?
Gerard Batten is a founder member of Ukip who has held nearly ever senior position in the party apart from the leadership.
But he is a controversial politician who described Islam as a ‘death cult’ in the aftermath of the Westminster terror attack.
The Ukip MEP has also called for all Muslims to have to sign a declaration a declaration against violence.
In a blog post he called for Muslims to reject parts of the Koran which he claims promote ‘violent physical jihad’.
And he commissioned Sam Solomon, a former Muslim lawyer versed in Sharia law who has since converted to Christianity, to pen the charter.
And today he doubled down on the controversial demand.
He said: ‘I have never made comments about Muslims, I have always talked about ideology and the literalist interpretation of that ideology.
‘That is a big problem that is facing not just the UK but Europe ad the Western world.’
He has reportedly called gay marriage ‘a nightmare’ and said migrants with ‘highly dangerous’ HIV should not be allowed into Britain.
‘Ukip came into being because it filled a political vacuum. That vacuum still exists. I want Ukip to be a ‘populist’ party – popular because its policies are what people actually want.’
That would include campaigning for an ‘end to the age of mass uncontrolled immigration’.
Mr Batten, who once described Islam as a ‘death cult’, said: ‘I have never made comments about Muslims, I have always talked about ideology and the literalist interpretation of that ideology.
‘That is a big problem that is facing not just the UK but Europe and the Western world.’
Speculation is mounting that Mr Bolton’s exit could pave the way for the return of Mr Farage.
Ukip now has 90 days to hold a new leadership election to decide who will take over at the helm.
Leadership candidates are expected to throw their hat in the ring over the next few weeks.
Mr Bolton’s removal came after he used his speech to the party faithful to tear into his critics who he branded the ‘enemy within’ and threaten to sue the party.
Media were banned from hearing his speech, but in extracts leaked to Mail Online he told an audience in Birmingham: ‘They are the enemy within….These people have used innocent people – harming and disrupting their lives – and deliberately feeding the media frenzy.
‘Even though they dress up their motives in a Brexit banner, the only true loyalty these people have is to themselves.’
Ukip members who were in the hall for the speech said Mr Bolton threatened to sue the party’s NEC, with one telling Mail Online: ‘He lost any fence sitters with that.’
Another said that when Mr Bolton made the threat his words were nearly drowned out with boos from the membership.
Ms Marney, a former glamour model 30 years his junior, was exposed for sending racist texts about Meghan Markle
Henry Bolton (pictured today) was today ousted as Ukip leader at a crunch meeting of the party membership in Birmingham
Henry Bolton (pictured today) took to the stage to launch a blistering attack on party insiders who have tried to oust him from the top job as he made his pitch to stay – but he failed to convince the members
Mr Bolton told the audience that his critics in the party were ‘divisive and despicable’ adding: ‘They have been spearheading an effort to bring about a vote of no confidence, they have used misinformation and subterfuge to do so.
‘They have attacked my career record – my military and police careers are a matter of public record.’
Just under 1,500 Ukip members descended on Birmingham to hear Mr Bolton make his final pitch to try to cling on as leader.
Arriving at the conference centre in Birmingham today, Mr Bolton had struck a defiant tone and told a media scrum that he is optimistic that members will back him.
Mr Bolton had won the backing of Nigel Farage who has warned another leadership contest would send Ukip down the road of ‘self destruction and irrelevance’.
Up to 2,000 Ukip members (pictured) have descended on Birmingham for the extraordinary general meeting to decide Mr Bolton’s future in the party
And it is unclear if Mr Farage will now sever ties with the party altogether now his ally has been ousted.
Meanwhile, party insiders have warned that Ukip is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and another leadership contest would finish the party.
Mr Bolton’s short tenure as Ukip party leader was plunge into crisis over Christmas when he left his wife Tatiana Smurova for Ms Marney – a former glamour model 30 years his junior.
And the father of three sparked fresh controversy last night when he compared himself to Princess Diana as he complained about the the media attention he received.
A Henry Bolton supporter arrives in Birmingham this morning. During his speech the Ukip leader said he has been pursued by an ‘enemy within’ and urged party members to back him as leader
Henry Bolton’s leadership was thrown into crisis after he left his wife Tatiana Smurova (pictured with him) and young children over Christmas
But leading party members hit out at the claim – and say they ousted him because of his woeful leadership.
The row around Ms Marney’s messages was ‘the last straw’ and Mr Bolton’s handling of the issue indicates ‘he just doesn’t get it’, he said.
He said the party was already having discussions about an interim leader to replace Mr Bolton and there are ‘three people in the frame’.
Mr Bolton hit out at the media interest following the breakdown of his marriage to Tatiana Smurova and his new relationship with Ms Marney.
He told Sky News: ‘The only people that are truly affected by that are my wife and children, and I feel deeply, deeply sad for what pain and hurt I’ve caused them but it’s a private matter and it needs to be dealt with privately.
‘I understand the scrutiny and public interest but it’s been going on for six weeks.
‘There’s probably been nothing like that since the Profumo There’s probably been nothing like that since the Profumo affair or Diana and Dodi (Fayed).’
But Mr Bolton ‘does not rule out’ running for leader again in the event of losing on Saturday.
Mr Bolton, who has called for sweeping changes to the way the party is run, claimed he was the victim of rivals ‘stirring the pot’.
‘The people who started complaining about this were people on the NEC, none of whom voted for me in the leadership election,’ he said.
‘Secondly, there were a small number of individuals within the party, failed leadership contenders, who saw an opportunity in me leaving my wife to go in for the kill – they’re stirring the pot… if they were truly dedicated to the party and their country and not to their own they would have stayed at their posts.’