UKIP replaces leader Henry Bolton with Gerard Batten, who has called equal marriage ‘a nightmare’
UKIP voters have removed Henry Bolton as head of the party after just five months.
The party has appointed controversial MEP Gerard Batten as its interim leader – its seventh in just under two years.
In 2014, Batten called equal marriage “a nightmare,” adding that his “gay friends in UKIP [were] perfectly happy with that stance as well.”
A few months after making those comments, Batten said that migrants with HIV should not be allowed into the UK, calling the virus “highly dangerous”.
Of the nearly 1,400 people who took part in the vote at the party’s emergency meeting in Birmingham, 63 percent wanted Bolton to leave the position he only took up in September.
Speaking to the audience in Birmingham, Batten said it gave him “no pleasure” to be in his position.
Adding it had become “untenable” for Bolton to continue as leader, UKIP co-founder Batten told the crowd: “UKIP has to continue because we are the only opposition.”
He continued: “I want UKIP to be a populist party,” adding that ‘populist’ had become a “term of abuse”.
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