British lawmaker hospitalized after party clash

LONDON — Feuding in Britain’s fractious, right-wing UK Independence Party erupted into violence Thursday that left a member of the European Parliament hospitalized with a head injury after an altercation with a colleague.

Steven Woolfe — the front-runner to be UKIP’s next leader — suffered seizures and lost consciousness after clashing with another lawmaker Thursday morning during a meeting of party lawmakers at the legislative building in Strasbourg, France.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said Woolfe was initially in serious condition, but he said Thursday afternoon that Woolfe was ‘‘in a much better place than he was a few hours ago.’’


Farage said he was launching an inquiry into the violence, which he said ‘‘shouldn’t have happened.’’ He declined to identify the other party member involved in what he termed ‘‘an altercation.’’

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Strasbourg police said the incident had not been reported to the force.

According to media reports, Woolfe was punched during a fistfight with another lawmaker, hit his head, and collapsed a little while later.

UKIP said Woolfe had two ‘‘epileptic-like fits’’ and lost consciousness. An image published by ITV News showed a man resembling Woolfe apparently unconscious on a walkway in the Strasbourg building just outside the parliament chamber.

Several hours later, Woolfe reported that he was conscious and recovering.


The party said Woolfe would remain in the hospital overnight awaiting the results of more tests.

Associated Press