Steven Woolfe ‘smiling as ever’ after altercation at Ukip meeting
An extraordinary series of events took place in Strasbourg today.
Ukip leadership hopeful Steven Woolfe has said he is feeling "brighter, happier and smiling as ever" following an altercation with a fellow MEP in Strasbourg today.
Party sources said Woolfe was in a “life threatening” condition after he collapsed at the European Parliament. It came two hours after he was allegedly punched by Ukip colleague Mike Hookem.
Hookem has denied throwing a punch, but sources said doctors reported that Woolfe had suffered two seizures and it was believed he had bleeding on the brain.
In a statement, the MEP said he was staying in hospital overnight as a precaution awaiting secondary tests.
"The CT scan has shown that there is no blood clot in the brain," said Woolfe. "I am feeling brighter, happier and smiling as ever. I am sitting up and said to look well."
"I would like everyone to know that the parliamentary staff, the Ukip MEPs with me and hospital staff have been brilliant. Their care has been exceptional.
"I am sitting up, and said to be looking well. The only consequence at the moment is a bit of numbness on the left hand side of my face."
Woolfe is said to have had a confrontation with his Ukip colleague following a heated meeting over the future of the party.
It is alleged that the MEP challenged Woolfe for considering defecting to the Tories before announcing his candidacy to become Ukip leader.
The pair then apparently came to blows after Woolfe invited his colleague to step outside for a fight.
Woolfe was pictured collapsed on the floor of the European parliament at around midday.
Ukip later said Woolfe was being treated for a suspected bleed on the brain.
Meanwhile Welsh AM Neil Hamilton caused controversy by saying Woolfe “picked a fight with someone and came off worse” while his condition was still unclear.
“That’s what I’ve heard second hand,” he told the BBC. “I don’t know what his current condition is. It is obviously a serious matter if he’s been carted off to hospital with bleeding on the brain, as I understand.
“I was told that he was knocked over and hit his head on a window. I don’t know that he was knocked unconscious, but it has obviously had some repercussions... It must have been quite a wallop.”
Figures from across the political spectrum sent their well wishes to Woolfe.
Former deputy chair Suzanne Evans wished the MEP a “speedy recovery,” while rival for the leadership Raheem Kassam cancelled a television appearance.
Woolfe announced his new leadership bid after Diane James sensationally quit yesterday after just 18 days in the job.
He was excluded from the previous contest after submitting his nomination forms 17 minutes late.
Total Politics spoke to Woolfe in August. You can read the full feature here.