Controversial politician Godfrey Bloom will not resign from the European Parliament but instead sit out his current term as an independent.
The Yorkshire and Humber UKIP MEP who was elected to Brussels in 2004 had found himself out in the cold after his party withdrew the whip following an incident where he called women at a conference fringe event “sluts” and then hit a TV journalist with a copy of the brochure for the gathering in Westminster.
Mr Bloom insisted the “sluts” remark was a joke but party leader Nigel Farage said the MEP, who is no stranger to controversy, had “just gone way over the line”
In a statement issued this morning, Mr Bloom said: "I have felt for some time now that the ‘New UKIP’ is not really right for me anymore perhaps than New Labour was right for the Denis ‘The beast of Bolsover Skinner’.
"However our message is clear. Self Government. Our wonderful and loyal membership will win through with their dedication and hard work. It has been a pleasure to work with them for fifteen years.
"May I take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to the thousands of people who have supported me with messages of good will in the recent months and particularly in recent days. There have been simply too many to make a personal response, forgive me.
"I shall sit out my term as an independent and give my whole hearted support to Jane Collins who is almost certainly going to be the next UKIP MEP and probably a second seat yet to be decided. I shall of course retain my membership.
Onwards and upwards!"