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Ukip MEP Steven Woolfe discharged from hospital following altercation

Published 09/10/2016

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

Steven Woolfe has been discharged from hospital after an altercation with a fellow Ukip MEP.

The North West England representative has claimed his colleague Mike Hookem "came at him" in a scuffle outside a meeting in Strasbourg.

Mr Woolfe was taken to hospital with a suspected head injury after suffering from seizures and collapsing later that day.

A party spokesman said: "Steven Woolfe has today been discharged from hospital in Strasbourg. He is focused on continuing his recovery and will not be making any further statements today."

Mr Hookem has denied punching Mr Woolfe and posted a photograph of his hands on Twitter.

The move came after Mr Woolfe issued a statement saying medical examinations suggested the bruising on his face was caused by more than just a fall or seizure.

An internal Ukip probe is to investigate the incident, with some senior figures saying it should bar leadership front-runner Mr Woolfe from continuing in the race to head the party.

With question marks being raised over whether Mr Woolfe can continue to seek the party leadership, fellow MEP Bill Etheridge said he can "no longer" support his campaign, and will now run himself.

Mr Etheridge told BBC's Sunday Politics: "Up until this happened, I was seriously considering rolling in with a unity candidate to try and make sure that we didn't have people that had been negative towards the party and towards Nigel taking over.

"Now, I don't see that I can support Steven and yes, I will be standing."

Mr Etheridge called last week's clash between Mr Woolfe and Mr Hookem "unseemly nonsense" and said he did not see any punches thrown.

He was the first person to see the two men after their altercation, but Mr Etheridge acknowledged punches could have been thrown before he arrived on the scene.

Mr Etheridge also said it was Mr Woolfe who had suggested he and Mr Hookem take their argument outside, which Mr Etheridge said raised questions about Mr Woolfe's temperament.

"It says something about his temperament and what I will say is that it wasn't a heated argument at the start," said Mr Etheridge.

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