27th Oct 2016

UKIP MEP feeling well after punch and collapse

  • Steven Woolfe in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. (Photo: European Parliament)

Steven Woolfe, a Ukip MEP, was rushed to hospital after collapsing in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Thursday (6 October), reportedly after a fight with a group colleague, Mike Hookem.

"At the moment I am feeling brighter, happier, and smiling as ever,” Woolfe said in a statement later in the afternoon.

The British lawmaker will stay in hospital overnight for observations.

According to media reports, Woolfe was punched by his fellow Ukiper, Mike Hookem, and hit his head on an iron bar. As a result, Woolfe collapsed moments later outside the plenary hall.

Woolfe, a barrister, was elected to the European Parliament in 2014 and is a member of the committee for economic affairs (Econ).

He was considered a frontrunner candidate for Ukip leadership when long-time leader Nigel Farage stepped down in July, but he submitted his candidacy 17 minutes too late due to technical problems.

He is again considered a favourite for the post, which has been vacant since Wednesday (05 October) after new leader Diane James quit after 18 days on the job. Farage has meanwhile resumed the position on an interim basis.

Mike Hookem, a former soldier, has been unavailable for media comments. According to sources, he was upset to find out that Woolfe had considered defecting to the UK Conservative party before his most recent bid for Ukip leadership.

Hookem approached Woolfe with criticism, and Woolfe suggested to solve the matter ”outside”.

French police confirmed to the Guardian that they haven't received a complaint over the brawl, and aren't currently investigating the matter.

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Prime minister Szydlo said the European Commission concerns over rule of law in Poland were political grudges.

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