Yorkshire and Humber MEP Godfrey Bloom is to quit the UKIP group in the European Parliament following the storm in the aftermath of his labelling of party members as ‘sluts’ last week.
But he is to remain in the European parliament as an independent, he confirmed in a statement.
It is understood that the move is not forced and that UKIP leader Nigel Farage did not want Mr Bloom to exit the party in any form of disgrace.
In his statement, the suspended MEP who also hit the headlines when he talked about sending third world aid to ‘bongo bongo land’ said: “I have felt for some time now that the ‘New UKIP’ is not really right for me, any more perhaps than New Labour was right for Denis ‘The beast of Bolsover’ Skinner.
He continued: “However our message is clear. Self Government. Our wonderful and loyal membership will win through with their dedication and hard work.
“It has been a pleasure to work with them for fifteen years.”
Mr Bloom also gave his thanks to his ‘thousands of supporters’ and confirmed he would sit out his term as an independent while giving his “whole hearted support” to his 2004 campaign manager, Jane Collins, as the prospective next UKIP Euro MP
After calling women party activists ‘sluts’, Mr Bloom insisted the comment was meant purely as a joke.
But UKIP chairman, Steve Crowther, later announced that he had withdrawn the whip from Godfrey Bloom, pending a formal disciplinary hearing.