Who are the UKIP politicians who were involved in the 'altercation' at the European parliament?

Steven Woolfe was hospitalised as a result of the injuries he suffered

Who are the UKIP politicians who were involved in the 'altercation' at the European parliament?

Ukip MEPs Steven Woolfe (left) and Mike Hookem. Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Two UKIP MEPs were involved in an altercation on Thursday that left one of them in the hospital, but what lead to the incident is still somewhat of a mystery. 

The two men involved in the incident, Steven Woolfe and Mike Hookem, have also found themselves propelled into the spotlight across Europe, as they both present their sides to the story. 

So, who are the two men who have suddenly found themselves the subject of plenty of discussion for all the wrong reasons?

Steven Woolfe 

Haling from Manchester, Woolfe trained as a barrister before turning to politics and represents the North West England region after winning his seat in the 2014 election. 

Woolfe also stood for election as Police and Crime Commissioner in 2012, but later admitted to being in breach of electoral laws for not declaring a criminal conviction dating back to 2002 where he was "fined £350 and disqualified from driving for one year after being caught drunk in charge of a scooter."

After the leadership struggle in the party which saw Diane James elected and then quitting after just 18 days, Woolfe was seen as one of the favourites to become the new leader of the party. 

He had also expressed his intention to run in the previous leadership contest, which James won, but submitted his forms 17 minutes late and was unable to contest the election as a result. However, there were claims that he had angered some MEPs by recently admitting that he had considered defecting to the Conservatives.

Woolfe is believed to be the preferred candidate of millionaire UKIP supporter Arron Banks, who has threatened to quit the party in the wake of Thursday's altercation. He has also demanded that Neil Hamilton, another UKIP MEP from Wales, be kicked out of the party after he said that Woolfe "picked a fight and came off worse."

Woolfe's birthday is October 6th, but this year he was forced to celebrate it in a neurological ward, where he will undergo 48 hours of observation after suffering two epileptic-like fits and losing consciousness on Thursday.

In a statement, UKIP member MEP Nathan Gill said Woolfe was looking forward to getting out of the French hospital where he was receiving treatment for his injuries because he'd had enough of the "croissants."

Mike Hookem

Hookem is the MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber region and has previously appeared in the parliament in some eye-catching attire. He joined the Royal Air Force at the age of 17, and eventually joined the Royal Engineers later on.

Hookem was running mate for Bill Etheridge in the most recent UKIP leadership battle, a candidate who has previously faced criticism for referring to Hitler as a "magnetic and forceful public speaker," and cites a referendum on the death penalty and a ban on burkas as two of his key policy proposals.

Although he previously supported Labour, he joined UKIP in 2008 and has since taken a strong stance on the immigration policies of the EU, appearing on BBC's Newsnight scaling a fence at Calais in an effort to show that it if he was able to do it at his age, then younger people attempting to climb over and enter Europe would easily be able to do it.

The altercation

Speaking to The Daily Mail, Woolfe accused Hookem of losing his temper and pushing him into a door frame during a meeting designed to clear the air between the party's MEPs.

"I wasn't bruising for a scrap," said Woolfe, "I asked to deal with the matter outside of the room because it was flaring up in the meeting and upsetting everybody, and Mike clearly read that totally the wrong way. It was a completely unexpected incident."

"Mike came at me and landed a blow. The door frame took the biggest hit after I was shoved into it and I knew I'd taken a whack and was pretty shaken."

Hookem has denied that he hit his colleague and suggested the MEP for North West England tripped instead.
Speaking to Sky News, he denied that version of events, saying that it was Woolfe who suggested the pair "take this outside mano il mano [sic]," and that things became heated as the meeting was about the rumours that Woolfe had been considering joining the Conservatives. 

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, UKIP chairman Paul Oakden said:"I have spoken to people who were there and everything I am being told at the moment would suggest that there were no witnesses. That is going to present a problem."

"What I am hopeful of is that we have two members who accept that something happened yesterday that was unfortunate, regrettable, and they, as we all do, will want to move on from it and focus on electing our new leader."

Gill told reporters in Strasbourg that Mr Woolfe was recovering well, and that "Steven has this morning reached out the hand of friendship to Mr Hookem, to Mike, and has realised that things did go too far in the MEP meeting so he's made moves forward for keeping us as a band of friends." 

Gill added that police had not been involved, at Woolfe's request, and that it was too early to say whether it would affect his bid for the leadership.

It is likely to spark a series of investigations as both the party themselves and the European Parliament in Strasbourg look in to exactly what happened. President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz suggested that it could result in disciplinary action and launched an investigation into what happened, adding that: "This kind of conduct might result in a breach of Rule 11 of Parliament's Rules of Procedures and of Article 1 of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament."

The chairman of the EU Parliament's Code of Conduct Advisory Committee, Conservative MEP Sajjad Karim, said he welcomed the chance to investigate what happened and promised to "move quickly".

Interim UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who visisted Woolfe in hospital as he recovered, said in a statement: "I confirm that I have asked the Party Chairman and Party Secretary to conduct an investigation early next week from which the truth will be discovered.

"All other claims being made in the media by representatives of UKIP who were not even there at the time are extremely unhelpful."