Steven Woolfe is coming under pressure to abandon his Ukip leadership bid following his altercation with a fellow MEP which left the front runner in hospital.
Senior party figures suggested Mr Woolfe’s apparent willingness to resort to violence rendered him unfit for leadership.
Mr Woolfe, who is recovering in hospital in Strasbourg, sought to extend the “hand of friendship” to Mike Hookem, the other MEP involved in the confrontation in the European Parliament.
UKIP MEP Mike Hookem denies assaulting Steven Woolfe
The UKIP MEP involved in an altercation with Steven Woolfe has said he “categorically did not” throw a punch at his colleague.
Mike Hookem acknowledged he and his colleague had a “scuffle” in the European Parliament but insisted that he did not hit him.
“I am innocent,” he told the BBC. “I never threw a punch. I never assaulted him. I will stand my corner.”
UKIP’s Steven Woolfe will be kept in hospital for a further 48 hours.
Thursday’s incident is being investigated by UKIP and the European Parliament, where it has been announced the inquiry will be led by Conservative MEP Sajjad Karim.
Hookem: I did not throw a punch
YORKSHIRE MEP Mike Hookem today denied striking Steven Woolfe and revealed the pair are set to shake hands over the pair’s “tussle”.
Mr Hookem described the confrontation with his fellow MEP as “embarassing” and “handbags at dawn”.