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Ukip's Mike Hookem "landed a blow": Woolfe

Press Association logoPress Association 6/10/2016

Ukip's Steven Woolfe has claimed a party colleague "came at me and landed a blow" in an argument over the party's leadership contest.

Leadership favourite Mr Woolfe accused MEP Mike Hookem of losing his temper and pushing him into a door frame during a meeting designed to clear the air between Ukip's MEPs.

Mr Woolfe, 49, is recovering in hospital after he collapsed and suffered two seizures following the incident at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Thursday.

But Mr Hookem, 62, denied he hit his colleague and suggested the MEP for North West England tripped instead.

Mr Woolfe told the Daily Mail: "Mike was obviously very angry and lost his temper.

"I wasn't bruising for a scrap. 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."

After the incident Mr Woolfe briefly attended a voting session at parliament but left when he felt unwell. Moments later he collapsed and was rushed to hospital.

Mr Hookem told the Daily Mail: "I did not hit Steven and I did not see him hit his head."

The incident threatens to further damage the reputation of the party, which is locked in a leadership crisis following the shock resignation of Diane James just 18 days after she was elected as leader.

Party leader Nigel Farage has ordered an inquiry into the confrontation.

Mr Woolfe had announced he will run for leader in the next election, after he was barred from standing in the leadership contest over the summer for missing the nomination deadline by 17 minutes.

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