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Steven Woolfe quits Ukip, makes police complaint over Mike Hookem altercation

Published 17/10/2016

Steven Woolfe gives a thumbs-up from his Strasbourg hospital bed
Steven Woolfe gives a thumbs-up from his Strasbourg hospital bed

Steven Woolfe has quit Ukip and has made a police complaint over the altercation with a fellow MEP which left him in hospital.

Mr Woolfe abandoned his bid to become leader of the party, claiming it was "ungovernable" without Nigel Farage leading it, and the European Union referendum cause to unite behind.

He stood by his claim that he had "received a blow" from Ukip MEP Mike Hookem during the fracas at a meeting in Strasbourg which caused the injuries leading to him requiring hospital treatment.

Mr Hookem has denied striking Mr Woolfe, and published photos of his hands in an effort to clear his name.

Mr Woolfe said he would continue sitting as North West MEP as an independent.

His announcement came after Ukip said its new leader would be announced on November 28.

Mr Woolfe said: "The events at the meeting in Strasbourg led to me later being treated by doctors for two seizures, partial paralysis and loss of feeling in my face and body.

"I would like to thank all of the medical staff in Strasbourg for their impressive and swift treatment. I owe them my life. I would also like to thank my family and friends for their love and support - and also all of the people in politics who have sent me their best wishes.

"Since then, I have spent some time considering my personal and political future.

"It is with deep sorrow and regret that I am aborting my leadership campaign and announcing my resignation from Ukip with immediate effect."

Ukip MEP Mike Hookem issued a photo of his hands, which he says display no bruises, cuts, or grazes
Ukip MEP Mike Hookem issued a photo of his hands, which he says display no bruises, cuts, or grazes

He added: "With regards to the highly-regrettable events in Strasbourg, I will reiterate my position that I received a blow from Mr Hookem that knocked me back into the meeting room and caused my subsequent injuries. Contrary to reports, I have made a police complaint.

"I am now seeking legal advice in respect of the investigations and will not be commenting further on the matter until the completion of those investigations."

Here is Steven Woolfe's resignation statement in full:

"Six years ago, I joined Ukip. Since then, I have campaigned with all my energy, time and determination to champion the party's core beliefs and values.

"I have been proud to stand in local, general, PCC and London assembly elections - and of course to be elected as a North West MEP.

"I have been proud to be a part of the team led by Nigel Farage, one of Britain's greatest ever politicians. He brought me into the party and helped us win the referendum - a moment I will always treasure. Without Nigel, the donors, the team members and the activists, the UK would not be free today.

"It was because of the support from party members that I put my name forward to lead the party in the Summer, and again two weeks ago following Diane's resignation. However, I could not have foreseen the events that would follow.

"The events at the meeting in Strasbourg led to me later being treated by doctors for two seizures, partial paralysis and loss of feeling in my face and body.

"I would like to thank all of the medical staff in Strasbourg for their impressive and swift treatment. I owe them my life. I would also like to thank my family and friends for their love and support - and also all of the people in politics who have sent me their best wishes.

"Since then, I have spent some time considering my personal and political future.

"It is with deep sorrow and regret that I am aborting my leadership campaign and announcing my resignation from Ukip with immediate effect.

"I believe that a strong Ukip would hold this government's feet to the fire and make sure it delivers a clean Brexit. However, I have come to the conclusion that Ukip is ungovernable without Nigel Farage leading it and the referendum cause to unite it.

"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 an NEC that is not fit for purpose.

"Once my recovery is complete, it is my intention to sit as an independent MEP in the European Parliament.

"I will continue to represent my constituents in the European Parliament until the UK's exit from the EU in 2019. I will champion the values I hold dear - those of freedom, democracy and an independent United Kingdom.

"With regards to the highly regrettable events in Strasbourg, I will reiterate my position that I received a blow from Mr Hookem that knocked me back into the meeting room and caused my subsequent injuries. Contrary to reports, I have made a police complaint.

"I am now seeking legal advice in respect of the investigations and will not be commenting further on the matter until the completion of those investigations."

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