Kilroy is silenced after split from UKIP's MEPs

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The Independent Online

The former daytime television host Robert Kilroy-Silk said yesterday he will have no more to do with his fellow UK Independence Party MEPs during a day of histrionics at the European Parliament.

Mr Kilroy-Silk, whose fame helped propel UKIP to success in June's Euro-elections, said he was quitting before UKIP MEPs withdrew the parliamentary whip from him over his push to lead the party. He said he will remain in the national party and refused to abandon the leadership bid.

Mr Kilroy-Silk made a determined effort to grab the limelight by earlier demanding the right to address fellow MEPs as the leaders of political groups were asked to speak. Banging on his desk and shouting "oi", Mr Kilroy-Silk was refused the floor by the Parliament's president, Josep Borrell, who, despite several minutes of interruption, did not order him to be removed.

Mr Kilroy-Silk later said: "I have said I will not work with the parliamentary party in Strasbourg again, but I will remain a member of UKIP." He accused the party hierarchy of producing trumped-up charges against him, including the claim that he had offended the UKIP supporter Joan Collins by failing to attend her book launch.

Mr Kilroy-Silk, a former Labour MP, added: "I used to belong to a proper party with rules of procedure. We seem to have an absent leader and a leader of the parliamentary party who sees it as his personal plaything."