Ousted Ukip leader Henry Bolton has revealed that he “fibbed” about breaking off his controversial relationship with former model Jo Marney over racist texts messages about Meghan Markle.
Shortly after the couple went public with their relationship in December, it was revealed that 25-year-old Ms Marney had sent racist text messages – including some about Prince Harry’s bride-to-be.
In the wake of the outrage that followed the leaked messages, Mr Bolton publicly distanced himself from his partner as he attempted to keep his job as party leader.
But in an interview with LBC the politician, who left his wife just before revealing his relationship with the young former-model, revealed that he had lied about them breaking up.
When asked by Nick Ferrari if they were “ever not together”, Mr Bolton responded with “no”. He admitted he had “told fibs” saying: “I think, Nick, I was playing words a little bit.”
Mr Ferrari then asked Ms Marney how she felt about their relationship being “switched on and off at will by Mr Bolton”.
“It wasn’t,” she replied. “It was to the general public, but it wasn’t to me. I was fine with it. I was a Ukip fan. Obviously there was a bit of friction about it but I understood.”
When asked to elaborate she went on: “Well, you know, it is quite difficult to sit at home and watch your boyfriend on telly saying that he is not your boyfriend.”
She said that she “of course” trusts Mr Bolton, despite him being dishonest with the public about their relationship, and laughed as she added: “Maybe the public shouldn’t trust him but I certainly do.”
And she said there were “so many” qualities that had attracted her to him, saying: “He is cheeky, he is funny, he makes me laugh, I think he is a gentleman…”
Smiling at her partner, she added “I think he is bloody great” and revealed that there was an “instant attraction” between the two when they met at a Ukip lunch just before Christmas.
Mr Bolton added: “Jo’s an attractive lady. We were talking for about five minutes, and I thought, well, there’s a sagacity here… some of the comments she made about political things.”
The couple went public with their relationship shortly after Mr Bolton had separated from his wife who lives in Vienna with their two young children.
He said, in the interview, that the romantic side of his relationship with his wife was over by the time he revealed he was dating Ms Marney. He added that his current contact with his estranged wife, was “cold” after the recent headlines about his relationship.
Ms Marney was asked about the messages that had sparked the political and personal turmoil for the couple, in which she described Grenfell Tower as a “nest” for immigrants and made racist comments about Meghan Markle “tainting” the royal family due to her being mixed-race.
Speaking to Mr Ferrari, she acknowledged that the messages were “obviously very offensive” but added that some of the points raised are “relevant” and said that there are some things people should be able to discuss in private.
“Should you or shouldn’t you be able to say offensive things in a private conversation,” she said. “I think you should.”
She also added that she felt that she had been “used as a political pawn” by the party.
When asked if she had felt like she was the victim in the row that has enveloped the party in recent weeks she replied: “In a way, yes I think I am.
“In a political sense, these people have tried to destroy my character purely to get Henry out of his position of power.
“I has been extremely tough. There was about a month when I was extremely extremely down.
“My family have suffered immensely throughout this so, in a way, I have been a victim.”