Ukip leadership favourite Stephen Woolfe is reported to be in a “life-threatening condition” in hospital following an altercation at a meeting of the party’s MEPs.
The incident took place during what was said to be a heated discussion at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
A statement from Ukip’s interim leader said: “I deeply regret that following an altercation that took place at a meeting of Ukip MEPs this morning that Steven Woolfe subsequently collapsed and was taken to hospital. His condition is serious.”
A party spokesman said Mr Woolfe was “taken suddenly ill” in the European Parliament building in Strasbourg on Thursday morning.
The spokesman added: “He has been taken to hospital in the city and he is undergoing tests.”
Woolfe, a UKIP MEP with Jewish ancestry announced that he is to stand for the leadership of the party following the resignation of Diane James after just 18 days.
As the party’s spokesman on migration and financial affairs, the North-West England MEP said he’d stand for the position today, after having consulted with his family.
Woolfe, who’s paternal grandmother is Jewish, was barred from standing in the previous leadership election after handing in nomination papers 17 minutes late.
Speaking on Sky News yesterday, Woolf said: “Based on the numbers of emails and telephone calls from members who have asked me to stand again and represent this great party, I have taken that consideration, and discussed it with my family, and yes I will.
I will take on the challenges that Nigel [Farage] has faced, those within the party that seem to be doing us harm, but also looking forward.”
The leadership election was triggered after the shock resignation of Diane James, who took over from long-time leader Nigel Farage.
Farage, who resigned after the Brexit vote, said he’d carry on as interim leader, though insisted he had no intention of remaining as permanent leader, telling the Press Association: “Not for 10 million dollars.”
— Sky News (@SkyNews) October 5, 2016