Chester resident Steven Woolfe MEP has collapsed at the European Parliament building in Strasbourg amid reports he was punched by a colleague.

The alleged incident comes just a day after Mr Woolfe announced he was seeking election as leader of the UK Independence Party for a second time.

He is described as being in a 'serious condition' in hospital at the French city.

The Chronicle will be monitoring developments in this story as they happen.

Signing off

Chester based MEP Steven Woolfe will spend the night in hospital as a precaution but thankfully seems to be on the road to recovery.

It is likely he will continue his campaign to become the next leader of the UK Independence Party as planned.

Following a statement from French police, there is currently no expectation of any charges being brought resulting from today’s incident.

That situation will only change if someone decides to make a formal complaint.

Thank you for following our live updates on this issue throughout the afternoon.

Police statement

A spokeswoman for French national police said that the incident had not been reported to them and they had no current plans to investigate.
“If someone decides to ring and make a complaint, we will of course follow it up,” she said.

Steven Woolfe's full statement

Steven Woolfe hails 'exceptional care'

In a full statement released on his website, Steven Woolfe has praised the care he has received so far.

“I would like everyone to know that the parliamentary staff, the UKIP MEPs with me and hospital staff have been brilliant,” he said.

“Their care has been exceptional.”

It has been confirmed that he did suffer two epileptic-like fits and passed out, but this has now passed.

Steven Woolfe speaks

Steven Woolfe has just issued the following statement:

“I am feeling brighter, happier and smiling as ever. I am sitting up and said to be looking well.

“The CT scan has shown that there is no blood clot in the brain.

“The only consequence at the moment is a bit of numbness on the left hand side of my face.

“I am being kept in overnight awaiting secondary tests to make sure everything is fine.”

Steven Woolfe's Chester office

Steven Woolfe's office in Northgate Street in Chester
Steven Woolfe's office in Northgate Street in Chester

Steven Woolfe's spokesman

Luke Thompson, chief of staff at Steven Woolfe’s Chester office in Northgate Street, said: “I haven’t spoken to Steven but I’ve spoken to his wife. She’s upset.” Luke, who presumes Steven’s wife Fiona will be flying out to Strasbourg to be with him, added: “Hopefully he will be discharged from hospital tonight.”

Leadership setback

You can read the story The Chronicle ran about why Mr Woolfe was unable to run for the UKIP leadership contest first time round by clicking here.

Deputy chairman

"Tense" meeting

Mr Woolfe collapsed in the hours following a confrontation with fellow MEP Mike Hookem, it has been claimed.

The pair and the party’s 22 other MEPs held a “clear the air” meeting this morning.

It followed Mr Woolfe releasing a statement yesterday in which he said he had considered defecting to the conservative party.

The meeting was reportedly “tense” and ended in an “altercation.”

UKIP statement

UKIP sources have said there there was a UKIP meeting of MEPs at 10am today. There was a “rumbustious argument” over whether Steven Woolfe had been talking to the Tory party. A verbal conflict arose and he went outside with another MEP.

The other MEP took off his jacket and went outside the room and punches were exchanged.

It is believed that he banged his head against a structure, a window or a wall but he got up.

Steven Woolfe later collapsed, doctors were called and his wife was contacted.

Doctors said he had two “epileptic-like fits” and they believed there was bleeding on the brain.

He was taken to hospital where he has undergone further tests including a brain scan. He is conscious and his condition has improved in the last two hours.

Speedy recovery

"Mildly better"

Steven Woolfe is “conscious” and “mildly better” according to Nigel Farage.

Moved out of area

Chronicle reporter David Holmes has been getting local reaction from neighbours like Clive Hope and traders like Geoff Mesney and it would appear that Steven Woolfe has recently moved out of Chester to set up home in Winchester.

"Awful news"

Wake up call

Former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell says this may act as ‘wake up call’:

"Conscious and recovering"

Steven Woolfe is now said to be conscious and recovering. Acting UKIP leader Nigel Farage is believed to be on his way to visit him.

Local trader's reaction

Chester’s renowned hot dog man Geoff Mesney has been talking about how shocked he is to hear the news about Steven Woolfe who was a regular customer.

Chronicle reporter David Holmes brome the news to him and he said: “Oh my God. I am so sorry to hear that. He is such a nice guy. I was only thinking about him today. He used to come and have a chat every now and then.”

Mr Mesney sent his best wishes to Mr Woolfe and his family.

City centre street vendor Geoff Mesney, who has been selling hot dogs and burgers in Northgate Street-Town Hall Square area for 34 years
City centre street vendor Geoff Mesney, who has been selling hot dogs and burgers in Northgate Street-Town Hall Square area for 34 years (Image: David Holmes)

"Attack on democracy"

Neil Hamilton's statement

Ukip Welsh Assembly member and former Tory MP Neil Hamilton has spoken to BBC News about what he’s heard “second hand” about the events of this morning.

He said: “Bleeding on the brain as I understand it.The information has come from an eyewitness there.

“It’s unfortunate but passions run high. “I was told he was knocked over and hit his head on a window. I don’t know if he was knocked unconscious.

”He hit his head on a glass window with quite a wallop.

“It was a dispute between two individuals.

”There is too much violence in Ukip at the moment. I don’t mean physical violence, I mean online and in the media.”

Good news at last

MEP Nathan Gill is being quoted as saying Steven Woolfe’s condition is not life threatening and he is recovering.

"Lively exchange"

UKIP MEP Roger Helmer was in the meeting where the altercation in which Steven Woolfe is said to have been involved took place.

He says that it was a “closed meeting and as such it’s confidential” but did specify there was “a lively exchange of views - not uncommon in politics”.

"Pray he recovers"

Mark Reckless, a former Ukip MP who is now an assembly member for the party in the Wales has reacted to the news: “I am shocked and horrified by news of attack on Steven Woolfe and his situation in hospital. Pray he recovers.”

Mr Woolfe's former home

The house in Victoria Road where Steven Woolfe lived with his family until recently
The house in Victoria Road where Steven Woolfe lived with his family until recently

Two hours later

Waiting for good news

Neighbour's comments

Our reporter David Holmes has spoken to a neighbour of Steven Woolfe’s in Victoria Road, Clive Hope, who said: “I know him. He is a decent fellow. I used to bump into him round the back at the garages.”

Mr Hope said he had spoken to Mr Woolfe about the EU referendum and about his work as an MEP.

He passed on his best wishes to Mr Woolfe for a full recovery and to his wife Fiona who he said he often saw out walking with their child and family dog.

"Life threatening"

Steven Woolfe’s condition is now said to be ‘life-threatening’.

"Clear punch"

Utterly appalled

Presumed leadership rival Suzanne Evans said: “I’m utterly appalled and distressed by the news and praying Steven will pull through.”