Scandal-hit Henry Bolton has faced repeated calls to quit over offensive texts sent by his former girlfriend, Jo Marney, who sent racist messages about Prince Harry’s fiancee Meghan Markle.
The embattled Ukip leader has since ended his relationship with the 25-year-old model – despite reports of the pair spotted dining with each other.
But Mr Bolton has vowed he is going nowhere, saying the party could not afford to have another leadership contest.
The Ukip NEC unanimously backed a vote of no confidence in Mr Bolton today, meaning the party will have to force him out within 28 days from today – unless he decides to walk out himself.
Party members will be given a vote on whether Mr Bolton should remain in his post.
The news has sparked speculation Nigel Farage could return to the top job, having stepped down in 2016 following the historic Brexit vote.
But speaking to Express.co.uk, the MEP and radio host insisted he had no interest in replacing Mr Bolton.
He simply said “no” when asked if he was tempted to return to the leadership.
However, allies of Mr Farage believe that he could join a party dubbed “Ukip 2.0” if Mr Bolton was removed from his position.
Reports suggest the new party would be chaired by Ukip donor Arron Banks while Mr Farage could become president.
The party’s main policy would be to keep up pressure for a “hard-Brexit”, according to The Sunday Times.
In a statement about Mr Bolton’s future, a Ukip spokesman said: “In an emergency meeting of the Ukip National Executive today, a discussion took place on recent press coverage of the party leader, Henry Bolton.
“Having heard a statement from Mr Bolton, the NEC asked a number of questions pertaining to that coverage.
“At the conclusion of that discussion, the committee took the decision to hold a vote of no confidence in the leadership of Henry Bolton.
“The vote was carried unanimously with the exception of the leader.
“This decision will automatically trigger an EGM of the party, to allow the membership of Ukip the democratic opportunity to decide to endorse or reject that vote of no confidence.
“The party is required to hold such an EGM within 28 days of today’s date unless Henry Bolton resigns in the meantime.
“Members will be written to in the next ten days to give details of where and when the EGM will take place.”
Speaking on BBC’s Sunday Politics earlier today, Mr Bolton said he would not stand down if he lost the vote of no confidence.