Menu

InstagramTwitterYouTubeFacebookSnapchat
Globe Icon
Join and support LGBT+ journalism

Join

and support
LGBT+ journalism

Current Affairs

UKIP replaces leader Henry Bolton with Gerard Batten, who has called equal marriage ‘a nightmare’

Josh Jackman February 17, 2018
UKIP (UK Independence Party) Brexit spokesman and Member of the European Parliament for London (MEP), Gerard Batten, addresses members of the media at the party's by-election campaign headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent, central England on February 13, 2017. UKIP Leader Paul Nuttall is standing as the party's canditate in the forthcoming by-election for the seat of Stoke-on-Trent Central, which has been held by the Labour Party since 1950. / AFP / Oli SCARFF (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

(Getty)

UKIP voters have removed Henry Bolton as head of the party after just five months.

The party has appointed controversial MEP Gerard Batten as its interim leader – its seventh in just under two years.

In 2014, Batten called equal marriage “a nightmare,” adding that his “gay friends in UKIP [were] perfectly happy with that stance as well.”

BOLTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 17: Ukip Brexit spokesman Gerard Batten MEP addresses party members during the UKIP Annual Spring Conference at the Macron Stadium on February 17, 2017 in Bolton, England. The annual conference comes ahead of crucial by-elections for the party in Stoke-On-Trent and Copeland. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
(Getty)

A few months after making those comments, Batten said that migrants with HIV should not be allowed into the UK, calling the virus “highly dangerous”.

Of the nearly 1,400 people who took part in the vote at the party’s emergency meeting in Birmingham, 63 percent wanted Bolton to leave the position he only took up in September.

Speaking to the audience in Birmingham, Batten said it gave him “no pleasure” to be in his position.

(Twitter/danbloom1)

Adding it had become “untenable” for Bolton to continue as leader, UKIP co-founder Batten told the crowd: “UKIP has to continue because we are the only opposition.”

He continued: “I want UKIP to be a populist party,” adding that ‘populist’ had become a “term of abuse”.

“I believe UKIP will regenerate”, Batten said.

British European deputy Gerard Batten attends on October 20, 2010 at the European Parliament in the northeastern French city of Strasbourg a vote in favor of raising maternity leave from 14 to 20 weeks while giving fathers across the 27-nation bloc two weeks to spend time with their newborn. European lawmakers gave their blessing to hotly contested plans for all new mothers across Europe to have five months of maternity leave. Some governments have warned the 20-week fully paid leave will add a huge burden to hard-pressed taxpayers, while business leaders say it may work against giving jobs to women in the long term.    AFP PHOTO / FREDERICK FLORIN        (Photo credit should read FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
(Getty)

Last month, Bolton refused to step down as UKIP leader despite a string of high-profile resignations and a vote of no confidence from his party.

UKIP’s National Executive Committee voted to pass a unanimous vote of no confidence in leader Henry Bolton.

Bolton was heavily criticised after a series of racist text messages were discovered from Bolton’s girlfriend, Jo Marney.

TORQUAY, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30: Newly elected UKIP leader Henry Bolton walks on the beach following morning TV interviews at their autumn conference on September 30, 2017 in Torquay, England. Bolton is the UKIP party's fourth leader in just over a year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
(Getty)

Calls were made for Bolton to resign after The Mail on Sunday revealed the racist texts, in which Marney called Meghan Markle a “negro” whose “seed [will] taint our royal family.”

Bolton was the party’s sixth leader in 18 months when he was appointed last year.

He spoke out against LGBT rights straight away, saying that equality had gone “too far”.

TORQUAY, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30: Newly elected UKIP leader Henry Bolton makes his leader's speech at their autumn conference being held at the Riviera International Centre on September 30, 2017 in Torquay, England. Bolton is the UKIP party's fourth leader in just over a year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Ex-UKIP leader Henry Bolton (Getty)

Bolton told the press: “Quite honestly, I think it is getting a bit far when we are encouraging children in some cases to question their own sexuality.

“I think that is certainly going too far.”

Asked about trans people, he said: “What I have a problem with is that we should all have a choice in that debate.

TORQUAY, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30: Newly elected UKIP leader Henry Bolton makes his leader's speech at their autumn conference being held at the Riviera International Centre on September 30, 2017 in Torquay, England. Bolton is the UKIP party's fourth leader in just over a year. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
(Getty)

“If somebody feels it has gone too far they should be free to express that concern.

“What concerns me more than anything else at the moment in that debate is that there is an effort to silence any dissenting voice and I don’t think that is in keeping with the principle of freedom of speech.”

More: Gerard Batten, Henry Bolton, Politics, same sex marriage, UK, UKIP

Click to comment

Swipe sideways to view more posts!

Dismiss

Loading ...

Close icon