Monday

24th Sep 2018

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.

News in Brief

  1. ECB's Draghi set to clarify role in secretive G30 group
  2. Half of EU states at risk of missing recycling target
  3. Commission refers Poland to EU top court over rule of law
  4. Open Society Foundation takes Hungary to court
  5. EU court asked to rule on halting Brexit
  6. EU threatens Switzerland on stock trading
  7. Italy's new basic wage restricted to Italians
  8. UK tycoon offers to create pro-Brexit party

Agenda

Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK

The EU will be watching closely how the political dynamics of Theresa May's Conservative party conference starting next week will influence Brexit negotiations. MEPs might also be forced to release their office expenses.

Feature

Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit

Decisions in the EU are a complicated process of intense negotiations, quid pro quos and horse-trading, until an agreement can finally be reached. But that didn't happen in Salzburg.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. Missing signature gaffe for Azerbaijan gas pipeline
  2. Every major city in Europe is getting warmer
  3. No chance of meeting EU renewable goals if infrastructure neglected
  4. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  5. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia
  6. Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit
  7. Salzburg summit presses for bigger Frontex mandate
  8. UK's post-Brexit plan 'will not work', EU says

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us