Henry Bolton: Ukip leader ends relationship with girlfriend Jo Marney over Meghan Markle racist texts claims

Party leader makes announcement on ITV's Good Morning Britain after text emerged in which partner said Prince Harry's marriage to mixed race actress would 'taint' royal family

UKIP leader Henry Bolton says he has ended his relationship with 'racist' girlfriend

Ukip leader Henry Bolton said he had ended his relationship with Jo Marney after she was reported to have made racist remarks about Meghan Markle.

He said admitted the relationship was “obviously quite incompatible” with his position as party chief and the “romantic” side of their relationship had ended.

However, the 54-year-old added he would continue to support the family of Ms Marney, who had been left “distraught” by the revelations.

The Mail On Sunday published texts sent by 25-year-old Ms Marney in which she said Ms Markle’s “seed” would “taint” the royal family when she wedded Prince Harry. In one message she said she would never have sex with a “negro,” while another read: “This is Britain, not Africa”.

In an interview with ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Mr Bolton said: “I don’t defend these comments whatsoever and indeed Jo has been suspended pending an investigation under the normal rules of the party for such things and it is against the constitution for the party to be racist in any way.

“As of last night the romantic side of our relationship is ended.”

It comes hours after he was told to choose between his party and Ms Marney as the offensive texts again plunged Ukip into turmoil.

Party chairman Paul Oakden had said Mr Bolton had a “difficult” decision to make.

Ukip West Midlands MEP Bill Etheridge was among those who called for Mr Bolton to go.

“All we get day after day, despite the hard work of our activists, is talk about issues with his personal life, which, frankly, I don’t care about,” he said. “But the way he is handling it is unprofessional.

“He’s a political lightweight, completely out of his depth and, frankly, he needs to move away."

Mr Bolton left his wife Tatiana, 42, who gave birth to their second daughter in 2016, prior to his relationship with Ms Marney becoming public earlier this month.

Former Ukip leadership candidate Ben Walker also called for Mr Bolton to resign after the racist texts emerged, accusing him of having “deeply flawed judgment”.

Ms Marney told the Mail on Sunday she “unreservedly” apologised for the ”shocking language” she used in the messages, but claimed they were "taken out of context".

“The opinions I expressed were deliberately exaggerated in order to make a point," she added.

Her split with Mr Bolton comes as the Ukip leader faces an investigation by senior party officials into his private life.

The party's National Executive Committee had already decided to meet next Sunday to discuss the controversy surrounding the leader's relationship.

Former leadership candidate Suzanne Evans told BBC News: “It’s just another scandal on top of scandal after scandal with Mr Bolton.”

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