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Resignations pile pressure on Ukip leader Henry Bolton to quit

The party’s deputy leader and immigration spokesman both say Mr Bolton has no future as leader.

Ukip leader Henry Bolton is facing growing pressure to stand down after two more senior figures quit over his refusal to resign.

Deputy leader Margot Parker and immigration spokesman John Bickley said Mr Bolton had no future as the head of the party.

The resignations came after Ukip’s ruling executive backed a motion of no confidence in Mr Bolton on Sunday following the disclosure his girlfriend had sent racist messages about Meghan Markle.

Mr Bolton has faced a stream of calls to resign since the highly offensive messages sent by Jo Marney, 25, were published by the Mail on Sunday.

Ukip deputy leader Margot Parker has quit over Henry Bolton's refusal to stand down (Peter Byrne/PA)

Ms Parker told BBC Radio Northampton that Mr Bolton’s personal life “took over the job he was elected to do” and urged him to stand aside.

She said: “It would be quicker and cleaner if he came to the conclusion he could go sooner rather than later.

“This is taking time away from doing the job. This puts the party in a limbo situation.”

Mr Bickley told LBC radio: “I believe he really needs to go and focus on sorting out his personal life, and get away from politics.

“If, by a number of people resigning and showing that they no longer wish to work for him, that helps him make that decision, then fine.”

Party members will now decide Mr Bolton’s fate in a vote at an emergency meeting in February.

Meanwhile, Ukip chairman Paul Oakden suggested that former leader Nigel Farage could take on a greater role in the party.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think everybody would like him to have a greater role in Ukip. Whether that’s as leader or not, I don’t know if I would subject Nigel to that.”

Ukip leader Mr Bolton is fighting to keep his job after he lost a no confidence vote at a meeting of senior officials and party members will now decide his fate in a vote at an emergency meeting in February.

Mr Oakden played down the prospect of supporters of Mr Bolton packing out the meeting in order to keep him in post.

He said: “In theory that is true, however given the strength of feeling on this particular issue across the party membership I think it is highly likely that there will be a swathe of members from across the country attending.

“We have to have 250 people there, it can be anywhere upward of that.

“We will wait and see who turns up, I think it is unlikely that anybody on either side of the argument will be able to fill the room.”

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