UKIP leadership hopeful Steven Woolfe was taken to hospital following an altercation at a meeting of party MEPs, interim leader Nigel Farage has said.
In a statement he said Mr Woolfe had “later collapsed” and his “illness is serious”.
MEP for the North West, Mr Woolfe, was taken for tests to hospital in Strasbourg.
Mr Woolfe announced after Diane James stepped down on Wednesday he will stand for the party’s direction.
Mr Farage said: “I greatly regret that following an altercation that occurred at a meeting of UKIP MEPs this morning that Steven Woolfe later fell and was taken to hospital. His condition is serious.”
After walking from a vote at the parliament in Strasbourg Mr Woolfe, who observes his 49th birthday on
Thursday, is said to have been taken ill.
The other candidate Raheem Kassam, tweeted his best wishes as did ex-husband deputy chairwoman Suzanne Evans.
Mr Kassam tweeted that he had cancelled his appearance on BBC2’s Daily Politics “out of respect” for Mr Woolfe, following reports he had been taken ill.
He added: “I really hope @Steven-Woolfe is okay. Plz send him your best wishes.”
Ms Evans, who is said to be considering her own leadership bid, tweeted: “Shocked to hear Steven Woolfe has apparently collapsed in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Wishing him well for a speedy recovery.”
Bill Etheridge, a former UKIP leadership contender and an MEP for the West Midlands and Dudley, tweeted: “Hoping all is well and wishing @Steven_Woolfe all the best after he was taken ill today in Strasbourg.”