Texts About Meghan Markle Create Political Storm in Britain
UKIP leader splits with girlfriend after nasty messages are published
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2018 6:21 AM CST
Meghan Markle, fiancee of Prince Harry.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, FILE)

(Newser) – The leader of a British political party is in hot water over his girlfriend's texts about Meghan Markle. Ex-girlfriend, actually. In the wake of the controversy, UK Independence Party leader Henry Bolton, 54, has split with his 25-year-old girlfriend, Jo Marney, reports the Guardian. Now the question is whether he'll have to resign as UKIP leader. The trouble began when the Mail on Sunday published texts from Marney to a friend in which she complains that Markle, newly engaged to Prince Harry, will "taint" the royal family. "This is Britain, not Africa," was among the comments she made about Markle, whose mother is African American. When the texts emerged, UKIP essentially gave Bolton an ultimatum, reports the BBC: Quit the party or quit the girl, and he made his choice.

"The romantic element of the relationship is over, I’m afraid, as of last night," said Bolton, calling Marney’s comments "indefensible." He also insisted that he would not resign as party leader, despite growing calls for that as well. Bolton is married with two kids, but he says he and his wife have been estranged and living separately since July. He'd been in a relationship with Marney for about a month, and the texts were sent before they became a couple. Marney, for her part, says they've been taken out of context. UKIP is pro-Brexit, and the AP notes that the party played a role in drumming up support for the 2016 vote to leave the European Union. However, it has been struggling financially and losing members since the vote. Bolton is its fourth leader since the referendum.

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