Would-be Ukip leader hospitalised following "altercation" ("punched by a colleague")

After leading the Brexit campaign, UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage walked away from the mess and left a leadership void in the party that MEP Steven Woolfe was tipped to fill.

Yesterday, Mr Woolfe called a meeting with his Parliamentary colleagues, at the European Parliament, to "clear the air" between them. Shortly after leaving the meeting, he collapsed and was hospitalised, where he was listed in "serious condition."

As to what happened in between, well, it's hard to say, though if you're familiar with decoding the utterances of a UK press tamed by centuries of overbroad libel-law (and, in the case of the BBC, outraged cries of bias whenever reporting on the goings-on with the right wing parties), a picture starts to emerge.

Here's the BBC: "UKIP MEP Roger Helmer told the BBC the incident followed 'some lively exchanges'."

What's a "lively exchange"?

Here's the Telegraph, in a story bylined by five writers, suggesting a lot of fact-checking and, possibly, blame-sharing: "party insiders told The Telegraph that Mr Woolfe was punched by a Ukip colleague following an altercation."

The Telegraph (who brief so hard for Ukip's archrivals in the Conservative Party that the paper is nicknamed "The Torygraph") goes on to say, "After voting Mr Woolfe collapsed on a bridge and was rushed to a hospital after losing the 'feeling' down one side of his body." All other issues aside, those are some weird quotes around "feeling," huh?

The Telegraph piece goes on to quote a lot of Ukip big beasts and anonymous sources who blame Farage for breeding a party where abuse is the norm. Remember, this is the party that a David Cameron aide once described as the home of Britain's swivel-eyed loons.

In a statement Steven Woolfe said:

The CT scan has shown that there is no blood clot in the brain.

I am feeling brighter, happier and smiling as ever. I am sitting up and said to look well.

The only consequence at the moment is a bit of numbness on the left hand side of my face.

I am being kept in overnight awaiting secondary tests to make sure everything is fine.

Ukip leadership favourite Steven Woolfe is 'sitting up and feeling brighter' after being 'punched by colleague' [Laura Hughes, Asa Bennett, Christopher Hope, Steven Swinford and David Chazan/Telegraph]

UKIP's Steven Woolfe in hospital 'after altercation'

(Image: UKIP's Steven Woolfe MEP, University of Salford Press, CC-BY)