Ukip leader vows to 'drain swamp'
Embattled Ukip leader Henry Bolton has rejected calls to quit as he vowed to purge the party of those he blamed for "factional infighting".
In a statement, a defiant Mr Bolton said Ukip's ruling national executive (NEC), which passed a vote of no confidence in his leadership on Sunday, was "not fit for purpose" as he promised to bring in a new party constitution.
Earlier a series of senior figures, including deputy leader Margot Parker, announced they were quitting, insisting his position had become "untenable".
But Mr Bolton said the time had come to "drain the swamp".
"The NEC is unfit for purpose and has severely handicapped the party's progress and political delivery for some years, as all recent Ukip leaders will attest," he said. "It has not only lost the confidence of me as the party leader in its ability to act objectively as the party's governing body, it has also lost the confidence of a large proportion of the membership. The NEC requires significant and urgent reform. It is now time to put an end to the factional infighting within the party and to remove those who have been a part of that."
His decision to fight on means his fate will now be decided by a vote of party members at an emergency meeting in February.
Mr Bolton has been facing a stream of calls to resign following the disclosure that his now ex-girlfriend Jo Marney posted a series of racist tweets about Meghan Markle.