Party 'Altercation' Puts UK Pol in Hospital
But Steven Woolfe is apparently improving after apparent face punch in UKIP fracas
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2016 10:55 AM CDT
In this Sept. 26, 2014, file photo, Steven Woolfe speaks in London.   (Gareth Fuller/PA via AP, File)

(Newser) – A UK politician said by the Telegraph to be the favorite in the race for leadership of Nigel Farage's UKIP party is in the hospital after sources tell Sky News he was punched in the face during a skirmish with UKIP members Thursday. "I deeply regret that following an altercation that took place at a meeting of UKIP MEPs this morning that Steven Woolfe subsequently collapsed and was taken to hospital," reads a statement from interim leader Farage, who initially noted Woolfe's condition was said to be serious. Woolfe reportedly struck his head while falling after the punch, then collapsed.

The incident was said to have taken place after what another MEP describes as "some lively exchanges" between UKIP members, per the BBC. The gathering, held on Woolfe's 49th birthday, was said to be a "clear the air" meeting to address beefs with him after he admitted he was mulling defecting to the Conservative Party. But Woolfe's condition may not be as dire as it first appeared, per the Guardian, with a Politico Europe reporter tweeting that a UKIP MEP says Woolfe is "conscious and recovering." Meanwhile, a BBC News correspondent notes Woolfe's condition is "now improved," per doctors, who say he had two "epileptic like fits" and believe he had bleeding on the brain. (Maybe punching Martin Shkreli in the face isn't such a good idea after all.)