MEP Mike Hookem gives his side of the Ukip altercation


The Ukip saga continues. Now MEP Mike Hookem has given his side of the story after an altercation left leadership contender Steven Woolfe in hospital.

Hookem said the confrontation in the European Parliament in Strasbourg was no more than a "scuffle".

In an interview with BBC Radio Humberside, he "categorically" denied throwing any punches at Woolfe and insisted he was not responsible for his injuries.

Mike Hookem.
Mike Hookem (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

So here's how the altercation went down, according to Hookem:

He said Woolfe objected to some of his remarks during a meeting of the party's MEPs. They were discussing reports that Woolfe was in talks about defecting to the Conservatives.

Woolfe "then stood up in front of everybody and said 'If it's that, let's take it outside of the room', I think his words were 'mano a mano'," Hookem said.

Hookem then followed him out into an anteroom connected to the main meeting room.

Steven Woolfe.
Steven Woolfe (Gareth Fuller/PA)

"When I walked in he approached me to attack me. He came at me, I defended myself. There were no punches thrown, there was no face slapping, there were no digs, there was nothing," he said. "It's (what) people in Hull would term 'handbags at dawn'. A bit of a scuffle."

This isn't exactly in line with Woolfe's version of events. Earlier, he told the Daily Mail that Hookem "came at me and landed a blow" after they left the meeting room.

He insisted he was not "bruising for a scrap" and that Hookem had read his suggestion that they should deal with the matter outside "totally the wrong way".

European Parliament.
The European Parliament (Gareth Fuller/PA)

So what happened after the altercation, according to Hookem?

Apparently, the door they came through reopened. "I at that point was not holding him. I didn't push him. He fell back into that room on to an MEP that was stood just inside that room," Hookem said.

"Some of the MEPs helped him up. He stood straight up, there was no indication of him hitting his head on metal windows or anything else, he fell back on to an MEP."

Two hours after the incident on Thursday, Woolfe collapsed and was rushed to hospital. Hookem said he had been "shocked" by the news, and insisted he was not responsible.

Steven Woolfe.
Steven Woolfe has been treated in hospital (Ukip/PA)

"Any injuries that Steven Woolfe had that caused whatever medical problems he's got did not come from me, did not come from my hand. I did not injure him," he said.

According to MEP Nathan Gill, Woolfe had emailed Hookem extending the "hand of friendship" and acknowledging that "things did go too far".

Nathan Gill.
Nathan Gill (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Hookem said he would be prepared to meet him to clear the air: "I'll shake Steven's hand if he wants to shake hands."

However, this is not to say that it's all sunshine and rainbows just yet. Hookem warned that if he was disciplined as a result of the party investigation, Woolfe would also have to face action.

"I may be suspended. If they suspend me, they'll have to suspend Steven Woolfe as well. I hope it doesn't come to that. I will fight my corner," he added.