UKIP members sack Henry Bolton after lover's comments about Meghan Markle

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Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle visit the Nottingham Academy school in Nottingham, Britain, December 1, 2017.
Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle visit the Nottingham Academy school in Nottingham, Britain, December 1, 2017. Reuters/Andy Stenning/Pool

United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) leader Henry Bolton has been removed by members after some comments made by his girlfriend Jo Marney about Prince Harry’s fiancé Meghan Markle. The majority or 63 percent has voted to back a no confidence motion at a general meeting (EGM) in Birmingham on Saturday.

Outgoing chairman Paul Oakden said that Bolton has been eliminated by the democratic decision of the membership. A leadership election was slated within 90 days.

It was announced that Gerard Batten was picked to take over as interim leader. "We've had many crises in UKIP, and I think this one today was about whether we have a future or not," the ABC reports Batten as telling party delegates. Batten was a member of the European Parliament for London. He also used to work as the party's Brexit spokesman.

After his fate was decided, Bolton reportedly said he feared the result would see UKIP "taken off the battlefield" of British politics for months. "I think it's going to be difficult to unite the party, what we have effectively had is a rejection of a new draft constitution, a reorganisation and indeed a new way of doing politics,” he said.

Bolton admitted to Sky News that he was “slightly disappointed” and that it was not a good feeling. He was elected in September and became the fourth leader of the party in 18 months.

As for his relationship with Marney, he said he had "strong affections" for his former partner, who reportedly sent him a good luck text message prior to the meeting. He reinstated that he would spend time to sort out his private life once they got the EGM out of the way.

Bolton fell out with the party's national executive committee, which had attempted to remove him after Marney’s comments about Markle via text messages to a friend emerged. The 25-year-old had said that Markle would “taint” the royal and that black people were "ugly." The messages also called Harry’s future spouse as a "dumb little commoner" with a "tiny brain.”

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage backed Bolton after the scandal. UKIP won almost four million votes under Farage. That can be equivalent to a 12.6 percent share of ballots cast in the 2015 election on its anti-EU platform. UKIP's leader in Wales Neil Hamilton told Sky that Farage had been "shackling himself to a corpse" in supporting Bolton.

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