For a party reportedly on the brink of financial collapse, it's a wonder how much sway UKIP continues to hold in British politics and how many headlines it continues to garner, even without taking Brexit into account. The last few days have been no different.
Jo Marney, the girlfriend of current UKIP leader Henry Bolton, the party's fourth leader in 18 months, was revealed to have made racist remarks about Meghan Markle. Her views, outlined in a series of texts, were laid bare by the Mail on Sunday and need to be seen to be believed.
Bolton reportedly split from 25-year-old Marney, a model and UKIP member, last night over the incident but this hasn't quietened the calls for him to resign, including pressure from within his own party. Marney was immediately suspended from UKIP after the remarks came to light.
In the hateful messages, sent to a friend three weeks before she began her relationship with Bolton, Marney voices her disapproval of Prince Harry's engagement to Meghan Markle on the basis of her ethnicity and stance on gender equality, and describes all black people as "ugly".
She claimed Markle would "taint" the royal family and described her as a "dumb little commoner" with a "tiny brain". She also claimed Markle was a "'gender equality' t***" who was "obsessed with race", adding: "This is Britain, not Africa."
When the friend accused her of being racist, Marney attacked ethnic minorities as a whole: "Just don't like her. She's a black American. Pushing their way to the top slowly. Next will be a Muslim Pm [prime minister]. And a black king."
She used the word "negroes" to describe black people and called them "ugly". "Not my thing. They don't turn me on."
In a statement to the Mail on Sunday, Marney apologised for the "shocking language" she used and claimed that because she had "deliberately exaggerated" her opinions in the exchange, they were being "taken out of context".
Speaking on Good Morning Britain today, Bolton claimed to have ended their relationship but refused to take any responsibility for the incident, refusing to resign from his role as leader. "I don't defend these comments whatsoever and indeed Jo has been suspended. It's against the constitution of the party to be racist in any way." If he says so.
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