He said, he said: Watch Ukip's Mike Hookem defend himself against accusations of punching Steven Woolfe

Caitlin Morrison
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Woolfe is recovering in a Strasbourg hospital (Source: Getty)

Ukip MEP Mike Hookem has denied punching party colleague Steven Woolfe, after reports the two engaged in a fight at the European Parliament in Strasbourg yesterday.

Woolfe was hospitalised after collapsing at the parliamentary building, and Ukip leader (technically) Nigel Farage said it followed an 'altercation' at a meeting of MPs.

"I deeply regret that following an altercation that took place at a meeting of Ukip MEPs this morning that Steven Woolfe subsequently collapsed and was taken to hospital," Farage said yesterday.

And Woolfe himself, who is recovering in hospital, said today that Hookem "came at me and landed a blow".

"Mike was obviously very angry and lost his temper," he said.

"I wasn't bruising for a scrap. I asked to deal with the matter outside of the room because it was flaring up in the meeting and upsetting everybody, and Mike clearly read that totally the wrong way. It was a completely unexpected incident.

"Mike came at me and landed a blow. The door frame took the biggest hit after I was shoved into it and I knew I'd taken a whack and was pretty shaken."

Hookem has denied punching Woolfe, and said it was more of a scuffle between "an elderly grandfather" and a younger man.

Here's his defence in his own words:

The European Parliament has launched an investigation into the incident.

Woolfe announced his intention to run in the Ukip leadership race - prompted by the departure of Diane James after just 18 days in the role - on Tuesday this week. A previous attempt to lead the party was thwarted when he was disqualified from running because he missed a paperwork deadline.

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