Folkestone-based Ukip leader Henry Bolton loses vote of no confidence

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Forced to choose between Ms Marney, a 25-year-old former glamour model, and the party leadership, Mr Bolton announced that he had dumped his girlfriend.

He added that Mr Bolton would be "exceptionally foolish" to even remain a party member, and predicted a "swathe of members coming back to UKIP" as a result of his departure.

The NEC will shortly decide on an interim leader and "a leadership election will take place within 90 days".

Henry Bolton, leader of the British political party UKIP, was sacked Saturday after losing a vote of no confidence at a special meeting of members in Birmingham.

The anti-EU United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) was an influential force in bringing about a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union in 2016, but has struggled to maintain its relevance since the country voted to leave the European Union.

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The UKIP leader has been ousted after party members backed a motion of no confidence in him.

Under the former leadership of Nigel Farage, UKIP helped drive the vote for Brexit, but has since been dogged by in-fighting, financial woes and falling public support.

He declined to elaborate and did not answer when asked if one was to set up an alternative party.

The former army officer was only elected in September, but faced a vote of no confidence by UKIP's ruling national executive committee last month.

"It may be too late to save UKIP, but you never know".

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He warned the party would now be unable to "capitalise" with Leave voters if Brexit is "further watered down or delayed".

It is estimated the party will have to stump up at least £200,000.

Senior Ukip figure Suzanne Evans told the Press Association ahead of the vote that it was "crunch time" for the party and Mr Farage should again take the helm.

The bookies' favourite is East of England MEP Tim Aker, followed by London Assembly member David Kurten and - despite having insisted he will not return again - Mr Farage.

Describing the media interest, he told Sky News: "There's probably been nothing like that since the Profumo affair or Diana and Dodi (Fayed)".

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However, the possible appointment of Mr Batten to lead UKIP would prove controversial after he previously branded Islam a "barbaric, regressive ideology" in the wake of last year's Manchester terror attack.