UK Independence Party leadership hopeful Steven Woolfe MEP is conscious and recovering in hospital after an altercation with a fellow party MEP in Strasbourg.
In a statement, Mr Woolfe said:
“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 would like everyone to know that the parliamentary staff, the UKIP MEPs with me and hospital staff have been brilliant. Their care has been exceptional.
“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.”
Several sources are reporting that the man who punched Mr Woolfe is Mike Hookem MEP, the party’s Defence Spokesman, although this is unconfirmed. Police were not called to the incident and it is currently being treated as “a medical incident”. It’s thought that Mr Woolfe, the party’s Immigration and Financial Affairs Spokesman, collapsed approximately half-an-hour after the incident took place, shortly after voting in the European Parliament chamber. Unconfirmed reports suggest that Mr Woolfe hit his head on a petal pole after being punched.
Mr Woolfe, a married father of one daughter, is 49 today and the early favourite to become the new leader of the party, after announcing his intention to stand yesterday. He previously stood in the last leadership contest but was blocked by the party’s National Executive Committee. Diane James, who won the contest on September 16th, resigned after 18 days into the job on Tuesday night. Raheem Kassam, a former senior advisor to Nigel Farage and editor-in-chief of Breitbart London who is also running for leader, cancelled an appearance on BBC’s Daily Politics out of respect for Mr Woolfe.
The news comes as an unexpected development in a saga enveloping the party. New Media Central Europe are hoping to bring more news about Mr Woolfe’s condition and further detail on the incident as soon as we have it.