Ukip leader Henry Bolton splits with girlfriend over 'racist comments' as he fights to save his leadership

Ukip leader Henry Bolton has ended his  relationship with Jo Marney after it was reported she made racist remarks about  Prince Harry's fiancee Meghan Markle. The leader of Ukip had been told to choose between his job and his new girlfriend after it emerged that she also sent graphic messages referencing the sexual abuse of babies in an argument with a friend. The Ukip leader admitted the relationship was "obviously quite incompatible" with his position as party chief and the "romantic element" is over as of last night". 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. 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." He later told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the remarks were "indefensible" and said he had "no idea" Ms Marney had made them. The pair's first date had been on December 15 and they started going out on Dec 26. Mr Bolton said he was still married and his wife - who has been in Austria since July with their two children - found out about the relationship on Dec 30, "so we were still getting to know eachother". Asked if he had been "rumbled pretty quickly" he replied: "Yes indeed". But he added: "This is not a cold parting of the ways." He admitted that he had considered standing by Ms Marney. Asked if had "dumped the girlfriend for the  job" Mr Bolton replied that "it is not that clear cut". He said: "We have agreed that the job has got to take first place. People have used Jo to try to attack me." He added that the relationship with Ms Marney did not raise questions about his judgement. He said: "I have no intention of resigning  - and indeed the people who have been calling for my resignation are people who for some time have been trying to work to undermine the leadership of the party in any case." Mr Bolton said Ms Marney was "utterly devastated" and he did not believe that remarks made on social media were here "core beliefs". Ukip West Midlands MEP Bill Etheridge called for Mr Bolton to go before he split with Ms Marney. "All we get day after day, despite the hard work of our activists, is talk about issues with his personal life, which, frankly, I don't care about. "But the way he is handling it is unprofessional. He's a political lightweight, completely out of his depth and, frankly, he needs to move away." Former Ukip leadership candidate Ben Walker also called for Mr Bolton to resign, accusing him of having "deeply flawed judgment". The party's National Executive Committee had already decided to meet next Sunday to discuss the controversy surrounding Mr Bolton.

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