Henry Bolton, 54, said on BBC’s Radio 4 Monday morning that he had split with Jo Marney, the 25-year-old model and journalist whose relationship with the UK Independence Party leader has captivated some corners of the British press in recent weeks.
Text messages published by The Mail on Sunday showed Marney saying that Meghan Markle, the American actress set to marry Prince Harry in May, would “taint our royal family.” Markle’s father is white and her mom is black.
“This is Britain, not Africa,” she said, before replying to an assertion that she was racist with “lol so what.”
She added that Markle had a “tiny brain” and she would never have sex with “a negro.”
Marney was quickly suspended from the party, which made a name for itself by pushing against immigration and rallying support around the “Brexit” departure from the European Union that has had the British economy in turmoil since last summer.
Questions also arose about whether Bolton would be forced out, an exit that would leave UKIP with five leaders in a year and a half.
He told the BBC Monday that he found his girlfriend’s comments “appalling and insulting,” but had no plans to step down.
UKIP’s executive committee will meet next weekend to decide on Bolton’s fate.
Bill Etheridge, a Member of the European Parliament in Brussels from England’s West Midlands, tweeted after Bolton’s media appearance that he had resigned from the leader’s spokesman’s team and would push for him to be removed.
Bolton added in his interview that his wife Tatiana was already living in Vienna with their two young daughters before he started dating Marney in December. He noted that he told her about his new relationship just before the new year.
The pair are not legally separated.
Marney has said her remarks were taken out of context and also apologized for what she called “shocking language.”
Some British outlets have also been accused of racism in their coverage of Markle, such as a Daily Mail piece claiming that the Los Angeles native was “(almost) straight outta Compton.”
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