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Newstalk

14.06 14 Jan 2018


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The British party UKIP has suspended its leader's girlfriend after she reportedly made racist remarks about Prince Harry's fiancée Meghan Markle.

Jo Marney said in a series of text messages to a friend that the Prince's "black American" fiancee will "taint" the British royal family with "her seed" and pave the way for a "black king", according to a report by Britain's Mail on Sunday.

The 25-year-old, who describes herself as a model, actor, journalist and Brexiteer on her Twitter profile, also reportedly said Ms Markle had a "tiny brain" and that black people were ugly.

In a statement to the newspaper, Ms Marney apologised "unreservedly" for the "shocking language" she used in the messages.

"The opinions I expressed were deliberately exaggerated in order to make a point and have, to an extent, been taken out of context. Yet I fully recognise the offence they have caused," she added.

UKIP leader Henry Bolton, who was elected party leader in September, tweeted to say Ms Marney had been suspended from the party "immediately upon us receiving this information".

He was responding to a teenage party activist who urged him to publicly call for Ms Marney to have her membership removed.

"Her words were blatantly racist and there should be no room for that in UKIP," wrote 16-year-old Jack Penny on Twitter.

"Also it would be hypocritical to allow her to stay... because he said in the leadership election he was the candidate against racism and nazis so she has to go or he and @UKIP are doomed if we let this behaviour happen in the party," he added.

Peter Whittle, leader of UKIP's delegation in the London Assembly, also called for Ms Marney to be "expelled" for the "disgraceful remarks".

Earlier this month, Mr Bolton announced in a letter to UKIP supporters that he had started a relationship with Ms Marney after splitting from his wife, but denied a "clandestine affair".

He left his wife Tatiana (42) who gave birth to their second daughter in 2016 after going into labour on a train, prior to his relationship with Ms Marney becoming public.

On Sunday, he dismissed claims on Twitter that he was in Ms Marney's company when he appeared on television in mid-October as "rubbish".

Senior party officials are to discuss the leader's private life at a crunch meeting over his future later this month.


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