Moss Side-born Ukip Member of European Parliament (MEP), Steven Woolfe, who spent three nights in hospital after a row with a colleague, has recently quit the party – citing it was in a “death spiral” and “ungovernable without Nigel Farage”.
Mr Woolfe also accused fellow MEP Mike Hookem of inflicting a “blow” to his face at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 6 October. He said he had to be treated for “two seizures, partial paralysis and loss of feeling in my face and body”.
The 49-year-old said there was “something rotten” about Ukip, which appeared to be “in a death spiral” of its own making.
“The party is riddled with infighting, proxy wars between rival camps and is run by an NEC that is not fit for purpose”.
Seen as a frontrunner to become UKIP leader after the surprise resignation of Diane James, Mr Woolfe said he was withdrawing as a candidate and resigning from the party immediately, “with a huge amount of sadness”.
Nominations to replace Ms James closed on 31 October, with the new leader to be announced on 28 November.
One of the contenders, Raheem Kassam, said those responsible for “negatively campaigning” against Mr Woolfe should “hang their heads in shame” and urged him to return to UKIP.
UKIP chairman Paul Oakden said he felt “sadness and disappointment” at Mr Woolfe’s resignation.
He said he disagreed with Mr Woolfe’s characterisation of the party, and predicted the forthcoming leadership race would showcase the “strength and depth of talent” in the party.
Mr Woolfe will now sit as an independent MEP. Mr Hookem, who denies punching Mr Woolfe, accused him of holding talks to join the Tories. “We wish him well and hope he can get his life sorted out”, he added.