Ukip leader Henry Bolton is facing calls to resign after his girlfriend reportedly made racist remarks about Meghan Markle.
Mr Bolton’s 25-year-old partner Jo Marney sent a series of messages to a friend in which she made offensive comments about Prince Harry’s fiancée and black people, the Mail on Sunday said.
Among Ms Marney’s messages were remarks that Ms Markle would “taint” the Royal Family, that she had a “tiny brain” and that black people were ugly.
The party leader, whose relationship with Ms Marney is under investigation by the party, said on Sunday that Ms Marney had been suspended “immediately upon us receiving this information”.
He is now facing calls to step down, with Ukip West Midlands MEP Bill Etheridge telling him: “Go now. Go quietly and leave us to deal with what’s left.”
He said he would step down as a Ukip spokesman if Mr Bolton, who was elected leader last September, “insists on prolonging this agony”.
Fellow former Ukip leadership candidate Ben Walker also called for Mr Bolton to resign, accusing him of having “deeply flawed judgement”.
In a statement Ms Marney said: “The opinions I expressed were deliberately exaggerated in order to make a point and have, to an extent, been taken out of context. Yet I fully recognise the offence they have caused.”
Peter Whittle, leader of Ukip’s delegation in the London Assembly, also called for Ms Marney to be “expelled altogether” for the “disgraceful remarks”.
Party chairman Paul Oakden said he decided to suspend Ms Marney’s party membership immediately after he was made aware of the messages.
“Ukip does not, has not and never will condone racism,” he told the Mail on Sunday.
Sorry, this content isn’t available on your device.
Mr Bolton left wife Tatiana, 42, who gave birth to their second daughter at London’s St Pancras station in 2016 after going into labour on a train, prior to his relationship with Ms Marney becoming public in early January.
The Ukip leader confirmed that he had a “change in my relationship status” in recent weeks, although he denied reports that it had involved “a clandestine affair with a young lady who happens also to be a member of Ukip”.