Steven Woolfe seriously ill in Strasbourg after hitting head during an altercation

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He speaks – “The CT scan has shown that there is no blood clot in the brain. At the moment I am feeling brighter, happier and smiling as ever. As a precaution I am being kept in overnight awaiting secondary tests to make sure everything is fine. I am sitting up and said to be looking well. The only consequence at the moment is a bit of numbness on the left hand side of my face.”

Steven Woolfe injured after alleged fight with fellow Ukip MEP

MEP was taken to hospital in serious condition after collapsing, having apparently clashed with Mike Hookem
Ukip leadership candidate Steven Woolfe seriously ill – Politics live

Steven Woolfe.
Steven Woolfe. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Jessica Elgot Josh Halliday and Jennifer Rankin in Brussels

Thursday 6 October 2016 14.09 BST Last modified on Thursday 6 October 2016 14.58 BST

The Ukip leadership favourite, Steven Woolfe, has been taken to hospital in a serious condition after collapsing following an altercation during a meeting of the party’s MEPs in Strasbourg.

The North West England MEP is said to have been taken ill at the parliament in Strasbourg on Thursday after apparently being involved in a fight with fellow MEP Mike Hookem.

Ukip’s interim leader, Nigel Farage, said: “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. His condition is serious.”

A source close to the party said the altercation had followed a tense meeting of UKIP MEPs where Woolfe had been confronted by Hookem over reports that he had considered defecting to the Conservatives.

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The source said Hookem had “made a few choice words” to Woolfe about defecting to the Tories.

“Stephen Woolfe has then taken his jacket off, walked over and said, ‘Right you, outside now’ or words to that effect,” the source told the Guardian.

“They went outside and Stephen Woolfe got the brunt of it.”

It is understood that Woolfe walked away from the fight at around 10am and appeared well enough to vote half an hour later. However, Woolfe left the vote mid-way through and then collapsed before he was taken to hospital.

The source added that Woolfe is thought to be conscious and recovering well to hospital treatment. Nathan Gill, his fellow MEP and a close friend, is at Woolfe’s hospital bedside.

Later Farage told the Telegraph: “Things are mildly better. I have just spoken to Mr Woolfe and I will be going to visit him later this afternoon. We are still waiting for the results. I will be going go visit him in hospital.”

Raheem Kassam, Farage’s former adviser, had earlier said Woolfe’s condition was believed to be “life-threatening”.

Sources familiar with the incident said that Woolfe had been punched during the meeting of MEPs, but was not immediately taken ill. He subsequently collapsed as they went in to vote at the European parliament.


Ukip’s MEPs were invited to come and “clear the air” amid the crisis sparked by Diane James’s resignation as leader and Woolfe’s admission he had considered defecting to the Tories.

After an angry discussion, Woolfe is said to have asked a colleague to move the discussion outside the meeting, and to have been punched shortly afterwards.

The source told the Guardian that Farage was not the person who threw the punch.

After the incident, Woolfe reportedly told colleagues it had been “difficult” but did not tell them exactly what had happened and appeared well until he collapsed after going in to vote.

Neil Hamilton, Ukip’s leader in the Welsh assembly, said he had been told by colleagues in the European parliament that Woolfe had “picked a fight with one of them and came off worse”.

Hamilton told the BBC he had heard from a witness that Woolfe had bleeding on the brain, after he was knocked over and hit his head. “He toppled over and hit his head on a glass window so it must have been quite a wallop,” said Hamilton.

It is understood Woolfe, Farage and other MEPs had been meeting James, who left her post on Tuesday just 18 days after being elected.

Ukip spokesman Gawain Towler said: “Steven Woolfe MEP was taken suddenly ill in the European parliament building in Strasbourg this morning. He has been taken to hospital in the city and he is undergoing tests.”

Suzanne Evans, Ukip’s former deputy chair who is said to be considering her own leadership bid, tweeted: “Shocked to hear Steven Woolfe has apparently collapsed in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Wishing him well for a speedy recovery.”

Kassam, who is also running to be Ukip leader, said he was dropping out of an appearance on the BBC’s Daily Politics out of respect for Woolfe. “I really hope Steven-Woolfe is okay. Plz send him your best wishes.”

Woolfe announced on Wednesday that he was reviving his bid to become Ukip leader after James quit. James had cited a lack of support from colleagues as she plunged the party into turmoil.

Woolfe was blocked from running in the previous contest to succeed Farage – for which he was the favourite – after submitting his forms 17 minutes late.

There had long been rumours Woolfe was poised to defect to the Tories, which he addressed in a statement released on Wednesday. “I have been enthused by the start to Theresa May’s premiership,” he said. “Her support of new grammar schools, her words on social mobility and the growing evidence that she is committed to a clean Brexit prompted me, as it did many of my friends and colleagues, to wonder whether our future was within her new Conservative party.

“However, having watched the prime minister’s speech on Sunday, I came to the conclusion that only a strong Ukip can guarantee Brexit is delivered in full, and only our party can stand up for
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5 Responses to “Steven Woolfe seriously ill in Strasbourg after hitting head during an altercation”

  1. Aldous says:

    My ‘Sixth Sense’ tells me that this ‘non story’ is a load of bollocks.

    It’s remotely possible that Steven Woolfe took ill (it happens) and the ‘narrative’ was ready and prepared for such an event.

    ‘Story Drift’ is the clue and fly in the official ointment. Woolfe has quickly gone from ‘life threatening’ condition to ‘on the mend’. It’s another miracle!

    6 October 2016 3:16PM
    A Cumbrian MEP is conscious and recovering, after allegedly being punched during a heated Ukip row.

    To those Truth-seekers who fall for this shit – don’t give up your day job.

    • Tapestry says:

      Why would the system promote Woolfe – a Faragist. Story rings true to me.

      • Aldous says:

        Think ‘Jo Cox’ Tap. It’s the same ball park. Coming hot on the heels of the Diane James sensational resignation, which (it turned out) meant that Nigel Farage had never ceased to be the leader of UKIP as far as the Electoral Commission was concerned, this ‘story’ should set alarm bells ringing.

  2. archer says:

    There’s no such thing as bad publicity. Watch how this individual will be promoted to messianic status over the coming weeks, months…

    He is of the ‘right’ bloodline to be in a lofty position somewhere.

  3. Tapestry says:

    Farage faces death threats and attempts. Two Faragists are physically attacked within two days of each other. These are not protected individuals. The system or at least a significant part of the system is working very hard to block UKIP. The Conservatives are safely stitched up and ready to start WW3. All threats to that are being ruthlessly dealt with. Diane was singing Putin’s praises. Can’t have that.

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