MIKE HOOKEM: The altercation which led to Steven Woolfe being hospitalised was 'handbags at dawn... girl on girl'

Mike Hookem, the UK Independence Party MEP accused of punching colleague Steven Woolfe, has vehemently denied striking the party’s migration spokesperson.

In an extraordinary interview with Sky News on Friday afternoon, Hookem said it was Woolfe who was the aggressor and described the physical altercation was nothing more than “handbags at dawn” and “girl on girl.”

Woolfe, the frontrunner to take over as party leader, is hospitalised in Strasbourg after suffering serious head injuries in an altercation with Hookem, who is UKIP’s defence secretary. Woolfe claimed Hookem “landed a blow.”

Hookem strongly this denied accusation in the interview with Sky. He said:

“We called a meeting for UKIP MEPs to discuss with Steven Woolfe reports in the media that he was in talks with the Tory party. You have to understand that we had just lost a leader [Diane James] who had only been in place 18 days so as MEPs we were quite concerned that the next leader, whoever he or she may be, is going to take us into 2020 as a steady hand.

“So, it was a legitimate question to Steven Woolfe. Who instigated these meetings? Was it you? Or was it the Tory party?

Sky’s Jonathan Samuels then asked Hookem to clarify whether he punched Woolfe during the altercation. This is what he said:

“If you want the truth, I’ll tell you the truth.

“Mr Woolfe explained to the meeting his part in the last leadership election. He stated that his paperwork had gone in and he had evidence of it but it hadn’t been accepted.

{Woolfe was set to stand in the party’s recent leadership contest but was blocked from entering after failing to submit his application documents on time}

“I then said ‘no Steven, you had 20 days to get this in and the reason it never went in was it was your fault’… Mr Woolfe stood up in front of the meeting, in front of witnesses, and said ‘if this is going to be the tone of the meeting, let’s me and you take this outside mano a mano’ he made for a small room, taking his jacket off.

“I entered that room. He approached me. He came at me. There were no punches thrown. There were no blows thrown. There were no slapped faces. There was no pushing. It was a tussle between an elderly grandfather and a 40-year-old MEP. Quite silly and embarrassing. Handbags at dawn. Girl on girl. It was embarrassing. It lasted seconds.”

He added that Woolfe had emailed him on Friday morning asking to meet up and put the incident behind them.

Watch the interview in the clip below:

Mike Hookem says Steven Woolfe “came at me” and no punches were thrown in their “silly tussle” https://t.co/r1b7z8g5zs
— Sky News (@SkyNews) October 7, 2016

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