The girlfriend of Ukip leader Henry Bolton has been suspended from the party after reportedly making racist remarks about Meghan Markle.
Jo Marney, 25, sent a series of messages to a friend in which she made highly offensive comments about Prince Harry’s fiancee and black people, according the Mail on Sunday.
In the texts, Marney reportedly said Markle would “taint” the Royal Family, that she had a “tiny brain” and that black people were ugly.
In a statement to the paper, Marney said she apologised “unreservedly” for the “shocking language” used in the messages, but said they had been “taken out of context”, the Press Association reported.
She said: “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.”
Bolton, 54, whose relationship with Marney is under investigation by the party, said on Sunday that she had been suspended “immediately upon us receiving this information”.
The Ukip leader sent the message in reply to a young party member who urged him to publicly call for Marney to have her membership removed.
Peter Whittle, leader of Ukip’s delegation in the London Assembly, also called for Marney to be “expelled altogether” for the “disgraceful remarks”.
Meanwhile former Ukip leadership candidate Ben Walker called for Bolton to resign, accusing him of having “deeply flawed judgement”.
Party chairman Paul Oakden said he decided to suspend Marney’s party membership immediately after he was made aware of the messages.
“Ukip does not, has not and never will condone racism,” he told the Mail on Sunday.
The report of Marney’s use of highly offensive language about people from different ethnic backgrounds comes as Mr Bolton faces an investigation into his controversial private life by senior party officials.
Bolton left wife Tatiana, 42, who gave birth to their second daughter at London’s St Pancras station in 2016 after going into labour on a train, prior to his relationship with Marney becoming public in early January.
The Ukip leader confirmed that he had a “change in my relationship status” in recent weeks, although denied reports that is had involved “a clandestine affair with a young lady who happens also to be a member of Ukip”.
He said he had already made clear on social media that he had recently been spending time “with somebody who has become increasingly important to me”.
On Sunday he was accused on Twitter of being in Marney’s company when he appeared on television in mid-October.
He tweeted: “Utterly false! Photo taken by Gawain Towler (Ukip communications official). The woman just in shot is a BBC staffer.”
In a letter to members, Oakden said the National Executive Committee ruling body agreed to discuss the leader’s private life at a special meeting in January.