Ukip left reeling as Steven Woolfe quits over infighting
Watch: Leadership favourite says party is in a ‘death spiral’.
Ever since Britain voted to exit to leave the European Union, critics of Ukip have claimed that the party is past its sell-by-date.
Then the party’s leader Diane James quit after just 18 days and the person in line to replace her, Steve Woolfe, was hospitalised after an “altercation” with a fellow MEP.
Now Woolfe is back on his feet – and he may just have delivered the coup de grâce that will put Ukip out of its misery.
“It is with deep sorrow and regret that I am aborting my leadership campaign and announcing my resignation from Ukip with immediate effect,” said Woolfe in a statement.
“I believe that a strong Ukip would hold this government’s feet to the fire and make sure it delivers a clean Brexit.
“However, I have come to the conclusion that Ukip is ungovernable without Nigel Farage leading it and the referendum cause to unite it.
“The way I was treated by members of my own party during the Summer’s leadership campaign and the events that have led up to today have all contributed to me coming to this conclusion.
“The party is riddled with infighting, proxy wars between rival camps and is run by an NEC that is not fit for purpose.”
Woolfe said that once his recovery was complete, he intended to sit as an independent MEP in the European Parliament.
He also gave an interview to the BBC during which he suggested that the party was in a “death spiral” and described the “horror story” of his altercation with fellow MEP Mike Hookem.
He also lamented the fact that only a "small handful" of UKIP politicians and officials had contacted him to ask how he was since the incident.