Sunday

21st Apr 2019

Ukip in death spiral, says MEP Steven Woolfe

  • Steven Woolfe said he would fulfil his mandate as an independent MEP. (Photo: European Parliament)

Ukip former leadership contender Steven Woolfe has left the party, saying it has ”something rotten” in it and that it entered a "death spiral” without long-standing leader Nigel Farage in charge.

Woolfe, who was recently hospitalised after a brawl with a party colleague, said he had put his name forward for the Ukip leadership because of support from party members.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

”However, I could not have foreseen the events that would follow… two seizures, partial paralysis and loss of feeling in my face and body,” he said in a written statement.

In an interview with BBC, he accused fellow MEP Mike Hookem of pushing him so that his head hit against a wall during a “man to man” discussion in the European Parliament.

Only a "small handful" of fellow politicians and officials had checked on him after the incident, Woolfe said.

“I have come to the conclusion that Ukip is ungovernable without Nigel Farage leading it and the referendum cause to unite it,” Woolfe wrote on his statement, referring to last June's vote on the EU membership.

“The way I was treated by members of my own party during the summer’s leadership campaign and the events that have led up to today have all contributed to me coming to this conclusion.

“The party is riddled with infighting, proxy wars between rival camps and is run by a national executive committee that is not fit for purpose.”

Woolfe said he had filed a police complaint over the matter.

The European Parliament has also opened up its own investigation, which could end with both MEPs losing their allowance and being suspended for a few days.

Hookem was apparently annoyed that Woolfe had put himself up for leader just weeks after he had considered defecting to the Conservatives.

Hookem has denied the allegations, claiming it was Woolfe who attacked him.

Nominations for the next Ukip leader close on 31 October. The winner will be announced on 28 November.

Nigel Farage stepped down shortly after Britain's vote to leave the UK in June. He was replaced by Diane James, who resigned after only 18 days at the job, saying she lacked the "sufficient authority" and support of colleagues.

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.

MEPs to investigate Ukip brawl

The European Parliament's ethics committee will try to establish what happened between Mike Hookem and Steven Woolfe, who will remain in the hospital until Sunday.

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.

Magazine

All about the European Parliament elections 2019

EUobserver's new magazine is meant to help readers prepare for the European Parliament elections, no matter their level of knowledge. You can download and read the entire magazine now.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  2. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  3. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  4. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  9. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  10. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan

Latest News

  1. Romania drafts EU code on NGO migrant rescues
  2. Bulgaria, Hungary, and Malta shamed on press unfreedom
  3. EU drafts $20bn US sanctions list in aviation dispute
  4. Brunei defends stoning to death of gay men in EU letter
  5. US Democrats side with Ireland on Brexit
  6. Wifi or 5G to connect EU cars? MEPs weigh in
  7. How Brexit may harm the new EU parliament
  8. EU parliament backs whistleblower law

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us