Henry Bolton has revealed he has ended his romantic relationship with Jo Marney after it was reported she made racist remarks about Meghan Markle.
The Ukip leader admitted that the relationship was "obviously quite incompatible" with his position as party chief and the "romantic" side of their relationship had ended, however he said he would continue to support the family of Ms Marney, who had been left "distraught" by the revelations.
The Mail On Sunday printed texts it said had been sent by Ms Marney, including use of the word "Negro" and a message reading "This is Britain, not Africa" during a discussion about the royal engagement.
UKIP leader's girlfriend Jo Marney revealed to be an out and out racist in string of texts to former friend. Marney has now been expelled from her boyfriend's partyhttps://t.co/AR3dZua8ae pic.twitter.com/9f10Qr7ZOH— Otto English (@Otto_English) January 13, 2018
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."
'As of last night the romantic side of our relationship has ended'
Henry Bolton has just exclusively revealed to GMB that he has ended his relationship with Jo Marney after she sent racist text messages about Meghan Markle— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) January 15, 2018
Mr Bolton’s 25-year-old partner Jo Marney has apologised for "shocking" language in a series of messages to a friend in which she made highly offensive comments about Prince Harry’s fiancee and black people.
Mr Bolton, whose controversial private life is already being probed by senior party officials, is now facing calls to step down.
Ukip West Midlands MEP Bill Etheridge, addressing the party leader via an online video yesterday, said: "Go now. Go quietly and leave us to deal with what’s left."
Fellow former Ukip leadership candidate Ben Walker also called for Mr Bolton to resign, accusing him of having "deeply flawed judgment".
When asked whether Mr Bolton should resign former Ukip leader Nigel Farage declined to comment.
Former leadership candidate Suzanne Evans told BBC News yesterday: "It’s just another scandal on top of scandal after scandal with Mr Bolton. I understand he is considering his position today.
"We will have to see what the next few hours bring."
Speaking to Good Morning Britain this morning, Mr Bolton said that he had no intentions of stepping down.
The party’s National Executive Committee will meet next Sunday.
In a statement to the paper Ms Marney, who describes herself on her Twitter profile as a model, actor and journalist, as well as a Brexiteer, apologised.
She 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."
🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/dZEs2gWXfO— Jo Marney (@Jo_Marney) January 3, 2018
Mr Bolton told a young party member online, who urged that Ms Marney should have her membership removed: "Jo was suspended immediately upon us receiving this information."
Peter Whittle, leader of Ukip’s delegation in the London Assembly, called for Ms Marney to be "expelled altogether" for the "disgraceful remarks".
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".
PA and Digital desk