Tuesday

25th Apr 2017

MEPs to investigate Ukip brawl

  • The altercation between MEPs Steven Woolfe and Mike Hookem took place in the Strasbourg building of the European Parliament. (Photo: European Parliament)

The European Parliament will investigate an incident that sent British MEP Steven Woolfe to hospital on Thursday (6 October).

The institution's president, Martin Schulz, referred "this very regrettable matter" to the advisory committee on the conduct of members" on Friday.

The incident will be dealt with "as a matter of urgency next week," Schulz said in a statement.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Woolfe, a member of the UK Independence Party (Ukip) collapsed, after a dispute with fellow-Ukip MEP Mike Hookem, during a group meeting in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

"Mike came at me and landed a blow. The door frame took the biggest hit after I was shoved into it," Woolfe told the Daily Mail , adding that he banged his head as he fell. Hookem denied hitting Woolfe or seeing him hit his head.

The argument started because Woolfe, a contender to the UKip leadership, admitted he had considered joining the Conservative Party. 

Woolfe will remain at the hospital in Strasbourg until Sunday.

"The reported facts are extremely serious. It goes without saying that disrespectful and violent behaviour does not have a place in the European Parliament," Schulz said.

The advisory committee, which is composed of five MEPS - Danuta Huebner, Mady Delvaux, Sajjad Karim, Jean-Marie Cavada and Jiri Mastalka - will have a first meeting on Wednesday (12 October).

They will hear from Woolfe, Hookem and "whoever they deem appropriate," like other MEPs or staff who were at the Ukip meeting or outside the room, a parliament official told EUobserver.

They will issue a report to set straight the facts, but they will not issue any recommendation on sanctions. The decision will be taken by Schulz on the basis of the report.

Schulz, if he finds it is necessary, could also meet with both Woolfe and Hookem to get their version of events.

Both MEPs risk being stripped of their basic allowance and suspended for two-to-ten working days.

Meanwhile, Ukip's interim party leader Nigel Farage said that the party will also hold its own investigation into the incident. He called claims being made in the media "by representatives of Ukip who were not even there at the time" as "extremely unhelpful".

On Friday, another Ukip MEP, Nathan Gill, said after visiting Woolfe that the injured MEP had "reached out a hand of friendship" to Hookem.

Ukip fights for its life

A fist-fight between Ukip MEPs in the European Parliament on Thursday sent a frontrunner for the party’s leadership to hospital and laid bare a party in shambles.

UKIP MEP feeling well after punch and collapse

Steven Woolfe, a Ukip MEP, was rushed to hospital after collapsing in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Thursday, reportedly after a fight with a group colleague.

EU parliament to claw back eurosceptics' funds

The EU parliament is preparing to get back allegedly misspent funds from a eurosceptic political group that includes Ukip, in a move that could cause the group's bankruptcy.

Eurozone bank needs more scrutiny, says NGO

Transparency International says eurozone's central bank is not subject to "appropriate democratic scrutiny" and should have no say on EU bailout projects.

Column / Brexit Briefing

Controlling the right of repeal

There was a distinct air of finality about Sir Tim Barrow's personal delivery of the Article 50 letter in Brussels – it certainly marks the end of an era.

Be fair in Brexit talks, EU tells UK

European Council chief Tusk sent draft guidelines to member states. He said the EU wants "fairness" and then warned against using security cooperation as bargaining chip.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  2. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  3. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  4. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  5. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  6. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  7. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region and the US: A Time of Warlike Rhetoric and Militarisation?
  9. European Free AllianceEFA MEPs Vote in Favor of European Parliament's Brexit Mandate
  10. Mission of China to the EUXinhua Insight: China to Open up Like Never Before
  11. World VisionViolence Becomes New Normal for Syrian Children
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsTime to Turn the Tide and End Repression of Central Asia's Civil Society

Latest News

  1. Le Pen-Poutine: des liens qui remontent à loin
  2. Juncker breaks tradition with support for Macron
  3. Les fake news inondent les réseaux sociaux français
  4. Les amis de Le Pen à la Trump Tower
  5. France's election run-off will be far-right versus EU
  6. Alternative for Germany party refuses to shun extreme right
  7. Brexit summit, Turkey and Hungary dominate EU This WEEK
  8. Russia threat triggers European military spending hike