Henry Bolton: Scrutiny of my private life like Princess Diana or the Profumo Affair
Henry Bolton has claimed press interest in his on-off relationship with a 25-year-old glamour model is similar to the intrusion Princess Diana suffered just before her death.
Speaking to Sky News, the beleaguered Ukip leader said he had “done nothing wrong” when he left his wife for Jo Marney just after Christmas.
The subsequent media storm after racist text messages sent by Ms Marney were published was “an experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy”, he said.
"The interesting thing about this whole case is that I myself have done nothing wrong," he said. "I have gone through a huge degree of scrutiny and a massive amount of personal disruption over the last six weeks.
"It's been an experience I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.”
Mr Bolton said he felt “deeply, deeply sad” for the pain he cause his wife and two young children when he left.
"In hindsight I would have probably dealt with certain personal elements of it in a different way. But leaving my wife is only an issue because media outlets decide that it is.
"The only people that are truly affected by that are my wife and children.
"I feel deeply, deeply sad for what pain and hurt I've caused them but it's a private matter and it needs to be dealt with privately.
"I understand the scrutiny and public interest but it's been going on for six weeks.
"There's probably been nothing like that since the Profumo affair or Diana and Dodi al Fayed."
Mr Bolton will try to hold on to his role as Ukip leader later today in a special meeting of party members.
Ukip is facing an uphill battle for survival as membership numbers dwindle in the wake of Brexit.
The party is also facing financial ruin after a judge ruled they must contribute a large sum to a £600,000 legal bill owed by one of their MEPs.
Last year, Ukip’s Jane Collins was successfully sued by Sarah Champion, Sir Kevin Barron and John Healey, whom she had accused in 2014 of ignoring child sex abuse in Rotherham.
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