5 Farcical Moments As Henry Bolton Clings On As Ukip Leader
Henry Bolton is clinging on as Ukip leader despite a vote of no confidence from his party’s ruling committee in the aftermath of the controversy over racist comments made by his now ex-girlfriend about Meghan Markle.
The former soldier made public his determination to fight on in a statement made from a Folkestone hotel’s car park, capping off a farcical day for the embattled ’Kipper.
Here are five amazing moments from Monday alone:
1. Bolton’s called a “a cock-led conceited ass” by a colleague.
On Sunday, members of the party’s National Executive Committee - its ruling body - held a vote of no confidence in Bolton’s leadership.
He was, however, given the chance to step down and have the vote effectively wiped from the record in order to spare his blushes.
After considering the offer for around 20 minutes, Bolton decided to fight on.
“The man’s a cock-led conceited ass,” a senior source with intimate knowledge of the meeting told HuffPost UK today. With friends like these ...
2. Ukip frontbenchers who you’ve never heard of desert him.
Bolton was faced with a wave of resignations from his frontbench in what appeared to be a co-ordinated effort to oust him.
Political journalists spent much of the day marking off who was the latest to fall, with 16 and counting quitting their posts.
[press officer walks in, sweating] "so we've had a reshuffle, and, er, Benry Holton is the deputy leader, Henly Borton does foreign affairs, Honry Belton gets Brexit..."
January 22, 2018
And if you hadn’t heard of the major players here, don’t worry. Many names appeared familiar from another context.
Fairly certain this isn't a real person but a character from Midsomer Murders https://t.co/4Dj5sb16mK
While the irony of members of a Brexit-backing party having a change of heart was not lost on prominent Remain supporters.
Ukip members had a vote, realised they’d made a mistake and now want to change their minds. Seems perfectly reasonable.
3. He channels Donald Trump by promising to ‘drain the swamp’, also echoing his ex-girlfriend.
In an attempt to tap into the vogue for populism, Bolton’s statement where he made clear he was not quitting was something of an ode to Donald Trump.
He declared: “It is now time to put an end to the factional in-fighting within the party and to remove those who have been a part of that. In a single phrase, it is time to ‘Drain the Swamp’.”
At least, that’s apparently what he said. It was hard to tell when he was initially around 20 yards away from the microphones.
Ukip's beleaguered leader Henry Bolton says it's time to 'drain the swamp'. Can't think where he got that idea... https://t.co/YopI2RMCIs
I wouldn’t stand for leadership of a party that treats its leader like this. To say the swamp needs to be drained is an understatement. The NEC is the biggest bog going.
January 21, 2018
4. Holed up in provincial hotel, Bolton goes full Alan Partridge.
Bolton has been living in a hotel in Folkestone on the east coast after splitting from his wife while hoping his political career can survive.
Alan Partridge was living in the Linton Travel Tavern, equidistant between London and Norwich, after splitting from his wife while hoping his television career could survive.
We've gone peak Partridge: Sky News is currently filming a Lexus parking in Folkestone. Is @_HenryBolton inside? pic.twitter.com/2VPVh5ddz5
5. Being interviewed by Farage, who once called him a “real man of substance”.
The Ukip leader’s first one-on-one interview today will be with, er, ex-Ukip leader Nigel Farage, who seems to have the measure of the man - at lest based on this tweet after Bolton’s election.
I am delighted @_HenryBolton has won the UKIP leadership election. He is a man of real substance.