The troubled UK Independence Party has ousted its leader after a scandal over racist text messages sent by his girlfriend, leaving the future of the right-wing party that played a key role in Brexit once more uncertain.
A majority of party members backed a motion of no confidence in UKIP Leader Henry Bolton, who had faced growing pressure to resign since a newspaper in mid-January published the messages Jo Marney wrote about Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s fiancee.
Marney, 25, who was also a UKIP member, was suspended from the party at the time.
The departure of Bolton, who was only elected to his role in September, will trigger the fourth leadership contest in the party since 2016.
Marney, who describes herself as a model and actor, had sent the text messages published by the Mail on Sunday newspaper to a friend.
The newspaper said the texts included offensive comments about black people and alleged that Markle would “taint” the royal family.
The euroskeptic UKIP and its then-leader, Nigel Farage, were closely associated with Britain’s June 2016 vote to leave the European Union.
Since then, it has struggled to maintain its prominence and failed to win any Parliament seats during an election last year.