The leader of the rightwing populist U.K. Independence Party split with his girlfriend after the Daily Mail published racist text messages she sent to a friend about Prince Harry’s fiancee, Meghan Markle, and black people in general.
Jo Marney, 25, the now-ex-girlfriend of 54-year-old Ukip leader Henry Bolton, was suspended as a member of the party after her text messages were revealed, The Associated Press reports. Marney does not have an official role in Ukip, but has been dubbed the “bad girl of Brexit” for her role in promoting the party’s push to leave the European Union.
Markle, an American-born actress, is biracial.
“Just a dumb little commoner. Tiny brain,” Marney wrote in a text message, according to the Daily Mail. “She’s black. A dumb little ‘actress’ no one heard of. This is Britain, not Africa.”
Bolton said on BBC’s Radio 4 on Monday, “The romantic element of the relationship is over, I’m afraid, as of last night,” according to The Guardian. He said her comments were “indefensible.”
But Bolton said he wouldn’t be stepping down. “No, not at all. I have no intention of resigning. And indeed the people who have been calling for my resignation are people who for some time have been trying to undermine the leadership of the party in any case.”
Bolton told BBC’s Radio 4, “I’ll be entirely honest, however appalling and insulting those comments that they made in those direct personal messages are, I honestly don’t believe that those are her core beliefs.” He added that he and Marney had “quite intense discussions” before deciding to part ways. “I’m going to stand by her and the family in terms of trying to put her life back together. This is not a cold parting of the ways.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Marney Wrote That Markle’s ‘Seed’ Will ‘Taint Our Royal Family’ & ‘Next Will Be a Muslim’ Prime Minister & ‘a Black King’
The messages were sent to a male friend just three weeks before starting her relationship with Ukip leader Henry Bolton, the Daily Mail reports.
In the text messages, which you can see above, Jo Marney wrote to her friend, “I wouldn’t with a negro.” Her friend replied, “what’s wrong with black people?” In response, Marney wrote, “Ugly. Not my thing. They don’t me on. Harry’s marrying … God! Wet as a scrubber. Awful. A royal yank. yuck.”
Marney’s friend asked, “what’s wrong with her?” leading to a racist rant in response by Marney. “She’s a ‘gender equality t***. She’s obsessed with racist. And her seed [will] taint our royal family. Just a dumb little commoner. Tiny brain. She’s black. A dumb little ‘actress’ no one has heard of. This is Britain, not Africa.”
Her friend replied simply, “Racist.” And Marney replied, “lol so what.”
She added, “Not wanting other races and cultures to invade your own culture doesn’t mean I hate their race. Just means I don’t want their cultures invading mine. Just don’t like her. She’s a black American. Pushing their way to the top slowly slowly. Next will be a Muslim Pm. And a black king.”
After the Daily Mail published the messages Sunday, Paul Oakden, the chairman of Ukip, told the newspaper, “In light of messages that have been brought to my attention, I have taken the decision to immediately suspend her party membership pending an investigation. Ukip does not, has not and never will condone racism.”
Bolton has been the leader of Ukip since September 2017. The party’s leadership has been in flux since Nigel Farage stepped aside after the 2016 EU referendum. Diane James held the leadership position for 18 days. She was followed by a brief return by Farage and then Paul Nuttall, who resigned after Ukip polled less than 2 percent in June 2017. Steve Crowther held the leader role until Bolton was elected in September, but Bolton has failed to secure his spot and was already facing calls to step down before his girlfriend’s comments.
2. She Is Also Accused of Joking About Baby Rape & Going on a Rant About Migrants, Saying They Are ‘Blowing Things Up & Raping Everyone’
Later Sunday, the Daily Mail revealed details about more text messages the newspaper says were sent by Jo Marney. The Daily Mail did not publish those text messages, but said she joked about “raping a baby” in the “horrific messages.”
Marney and Ukip declined to comment on them, but a friend told the newspaper that they were taken out of context and were “part of an outrage competition.” The friend told the Daily Mail that Marney posted the remarks while trying to compare the abuse of animals and babies.
Also on Sunday, The Sun uncovered a racist rant about refugees and migrants that Marney unleashed during a social media exchange with a stranger.
During the exchange on Twitter through direct message, Marney wrote, “It suits you to have all the eastern european sluts coming over who would f*** a mangey dog for about 10 quid and a big mac,” according to The Sun.
She then said, “yeah well if you were a female you’d probably be raped by the wonderful ‘refugees’ running around Germany blowing things up and raping everyone. Can’t wait for Britain to get that good.”
David Longbottom, the Twitter user she exchanged the messages with, said her comments didn’t shock him. He said in messages to him she said, “If I’m racist I don’t give a f***.”
3. Marney Describes Herself as a ‘Presenter, Music Journalist, Model, Actor, Brexiteer’
Marney, who is from Kent, describes herself as a “presenter, music journalist, model, actor [and] Brexiteer,” on her Twitter profile.
According to The Sun, Marney has worked as a glamour model, and also appeared in catwalk shows. She was featured in the music video for X Factor winner Sam Callahan’s song “Burns Like Fire,” according to The Sun.
She went to Rochester Independent College and Canterbury Christ Church University, obtaining a BA in journalism, according to the newspaper. She then wrote for NME and Alterboy Music, and has had acting gigs on ITV and modeling for British designer Lulu Guinness, The Sun reports.
Jo went to Rochester Independent College and Canterbury Christ Church University, where she got a BA in journalism.
Marney previously dated the cousin of Pink Floyd star Dave Gilmour, according to the Daily Mail. Her ex’s friends told the newspaper that Marney reached out to him on Facebook because of his family name. She dated Patrick Gilmour from 2016 until last summer.
She has made other controversial social media posts in the past, according to The Sun, which uncovered those posts in early January, before she locked down her Facebook page.
After the tragic Grenfell Tower, she said the decision to offer permanent residency to survivors was “disgusting,” in a Facebook post. She wrote, “That entire tower was a nest of illegal immigrants of all varieties. That’s why they can’t identify most of them. Meanwhile, British families wait on the Council Housing list for years.”
In another post, she wrote, “Foreigners bringing their customs over here. More acid attacks, more senseless knife crime, more rapes, more people trafficking. Please take back control of our borders!!! London has become like some shanty town.”
After the Westminster terror attack, Marney wrote, “How can this happen – I’ll tell you how it can happen, because we’ve welcomed SCUM into this country for years and years and years and there’re THOUSANDS of them living right here in Britain perfectly legally.”
She also defended Harvey Weinstein and attacked women in Hollywood speaking out about sexual misconduct and harassment.
“‘Hollywood abuses’ grow the f*** up. Poor, hard done by little rich girls. If she [Rose McGowan] really cared about REAL abuse of women she’d be tackling radical islam and countries like Saudi. But let’s face it, it’s far easier to whinge about privileged little white Hollywood chicks who shagged some fat old man for a part in a movie. Woe is them,” she wrote, according to the Sun.
She said on Twitter, “A rich, famous fat man tried to get her into bed!? Poor little flower! Give her an award for her bravery. What a joke. Out of all the brilliant, influential amazing people in this world, Time chooses a bunch of whinging little divas who got hit on by a fat bloke once.”
4. Bolton, Who Created Controversy When He Left His Wife for the 25-Year-Old Marney, Was Told to Choose His Girlfriend or His Party, Reports Say
Henry Bolton, who was relatively unknown before taking over as Ukip leader in September, already generated controversy and negative headlines after revealing his relationship with Jo Marney earlier this month. The former Army officer left his Russian-born wife, Tatiana Smurova, 48, for Marney, 25, according to the Daily Mail. Smurova is the mother of Bolton’s two young children. Bolton had said his marriage to Smurova was already over when he met Marney.
Marney, who has been active on social media promoting Ukip, posted a photo with Bolton on December 16, writing, “Fantastic Xmas dinner with our leader @_henrybolton ?#ukip.” On December 26, she tweeted, “Fantastic Boxing Day drinks with @_HenryBolton ????”
Their relationship was revealed in early January, and they said they had met just before Christmas. Bolton has denied having a secret affair with Marney prior to going public. In Facebook posts defending Bolton, Marney said he “isn’t a perv” and is a “decent bloke and family man,” according to the Daily Mail.
“Tell me honestly – would you want your child to stay with someone who made him or her completely miserable? What is it that Henry has done that is so awful? Please explain it to me because I’m obviously from another planet to you,” she wrote. “He was in an unhappy marriage and was estranged from his wife. He started dating me and we found that we made each other happy. What’s your issue? In your world no one is allowed to split from their partner? Or is this all because I’m young and good looking? I am a kipper through and through. I have nothing but Henry’s best interest and the best interests of the party at heart. You should be happy. We are. Henry is human too and deserves a life and happiness. If I was a 49-stone woman none of you would have thought twice about it.”
After the end of their relationship was made public, Bolton’s wife, Smurova, told The Sun, her “world has fallen apart.” She said he told her their marriage was over during the Christmas holiday while visiting her family “What kind of person runs away to sleep with another woman, leaving their two small children over Christmas? I’m still breastfeeding his child for goodness sake,” she said. “I feel as though I’ve been thrown in a cold ocean and I’m just trying to stay on the surface.”
After Marney’s comments were reported on Sunday, fellow members of Ukip told Bolton to step down, according to the BBC. Party members urged him to step aside “quickly” and “quietly,” the BBC reports.
Chairman Paul Oakden told The Guardian, “I think it is very clear that Henry is increasingly in a position where he’s got some difficult decisions to make. Whether or not the party decides it is willing to give that support to Henry is for the party to decide.”
According to The Telegraph, Bolton had been told to choose between his party and his girlfriend.
Ukip MEP Bill Etheridge encouraged Bolton to quit, telling him in a Facebook video, “Go now. Go quietly and leave us to deal with what’s left. It appears that we are now seeing Ukip resources, which are at best scant, being used to defend Henry’s private life.”
5. Marney Apologized for Her ‘Shocking Language,’ but Said Her Words Were ‘Taken Out of Context’
Jo Marney has apologized for her comments, but also said that her words were “taken out of context.”
In a statement to the Daily Mail, she said, “‘ apologise unreservedly for the shocking language I used. 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.”
Marney added, “No offence was intended and, again, I apologise unreservedly for any such offence or hurt that my messages have caused to members of the public, members of Ukip my friends, family and loved ones. I have disappointed them all and let myself down. I cannot sufficiently express my regret and sadness at having done so.”
She told The Sun, “I’d like to say I’m absolutely devastated by the messages I’ve sent and the distress that I’ve caused. They were unnecessary, they were reckless, they were overly exaggerated purely for effect.”
She added, “They were never intended to be put in the public domain. I’d like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere and deepest apologies.”
Henry Bolton did tweeted, “Jo was suspended immediately upon us receiving this information.”
Amid calls for Bolton’s resignation after word of his relationship with Marney became public, Bolton said stepping down from his leadership position would “cripple” Ukip. He told the Daily Mail, “I have no doubt I’m going to come out of this, and Jo and I are going to come out of this as a couple, stronger than we went into it.”
Before the racist comments by Marney were reported, Ukip chairman Paul Oakden had said, the party was “keen to work collectively in finding a resolution that best protects the future prospects of Ukip,” according to the Daily Mail. A Ukip figure told the Daily Mail that the latest scandal could be the “end of the party,” saying it has had serious financial problems since Nigel Farage left.
Bolton and Marney were seen together Sunday at Ashford International train station and he told the Daily Mail, “no,” when asked if he would be stepping down and then said, “You don’t know the context.”