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Ukip leader Henry Bolton of Folkestone faces fight for job over relationship with Maidstone model Jo Marney

The embattled Ukip leader Henry Bolton will fight to hang on to his job today as party chiefs meet to decide his fate.

Mr Bolton is expected to defend himself over criticism of his relationship with a 25-year-old glamour model from Maidstone at a meeting of the party's National Executive Committee.

But it is looking increasingly likely that he could be ousted from the top job amid bitter recriminations over his behaviour.

Ukip leader Henry Bolton with Jo Marney
Ukip leader Henry Bolton with Jo Marney

Despite claiming to have ended his relationship with model Jo Marney, the pair have continued to be seen together both in a London restaurant and travelling on a train to Folkestone, where Mr Bolton has a flat.

Ms Marney has now quit the party after further revelations about comments she made about Islam, for which she has issued an apology.

She had been suspended from the party over a series of racist texts in which she said that the Royal Family would be tainted by Prince Harry's marriage to the actress Meghan Markle

The former soldier’s problems have continued to stack up ahead of today's meeting. But despite his mounting difficulties, he said he was determined to fight to keep his job.

Speaking ahead of today's meeting Mr Bolton said in an interview on Radio 5 that he would be fighting his corner.

“The party needs to move on and focus on delivering its policies. The focus needs to be on sorting out the in-fighting within the party which I am absolutely determined to do.”

“We need to ensure that we get a clean break from the European Union. I want to put all this behind us.”

He said the NEC was pursuing an action against him that was detrimental to the whole party.

He has lost the support of a key Kent ally who was his press aide during his successful campaign to become leader.

Cllr Susie Govett
Cllr Susie Govett

Cllr Susie Govett, Shepway District Councillor for New Romney, announced she was quitting the party in protest over Mr Bolton's conduct .

“The reputation of Ukip, its members, councillors, supporters and voters has been, and will continue to be, damaged by the recent events surrounding Henry Bolton,” she said in a statement.

“Party members deserve so much more than what the leadership has delivered and I believe the harm to be irreparable.”

Mr Bolton has also been undermined by the resignation of one of party’s MEPs. Jonathan Arnott said the party had become “almost as bad as the political establishment I had hoped to counter” and he was resigning “with a heavy heart” and would continue to sit as an independent in the European parliament.

“I tried my best to avoid the nastiness that pervades modern politics. I, like so many others, believed it to have potential and I continued to believe in that potential long after the evidence no longer supported it – out of loyalty to the many honest, hard-working members who still believed in it.”

He said that he no longer believed Mr Bolton was up to the job.

The leader will find out today if others share that view.

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