Shropshire Star

Midlands Ukip MEP splits from his wife in row

West Midlands Ukip MEP Bill Etheridge has reportedly split up with his wife – after she spotted another woman following him around "like a little dog" while his General Election count was on TV.


Star Etheridge was also said to be furious when she called her husband and 39-year-old party worker Lorraine Chew, from Wolverhampton, answered the phone.

Mrs Etheridge, 43, claimed she saw TV footage of her 45-year-old husband being followed by Ms Chew at his count in Dudley North. She said Ms Chew was trailing her husband "like a little dog".

Mrs Etheridge, who was the party's candidate in Wolverhampton North East, said she rang her husband in the early hours of May 8 but Ms Chew answered.

Mother-of-three Mrs Etheridge said: "I don't want to make any comment. I'm not going to confirm or deny anything to the press."

But according to reports she said Miss Chew had answered her husband's phone when she rang him.

She reportedly said: "I don't know what she said, as I was screaming at her to give the phone to my husband. I've no idea what she was doing for his campaign."

Miss Chew is understood to have confirmed that she and Mr Etheridge are in a relationship and that he has also moved out of the home he shared with his wife in Sedgley.

Mr and Mrs Etheridge are both Dudley councillors and were elected last year in the same poll that sent Mr Etheridge to Brussels and Strasbourg as an MEP.

Mr Etheridge came third in Dudley North in his bid to become an MP having been tipped as the main challenger to Labour's Ian Austin throughout the election campaign. Mrs Etheridge also finished third in her bid to become an MP. Wolverhampton North East was retained by Labour's Emma Reynolds.

The Etheridges have been married for more than seven years. It has been reported that Mrs Etheridge now wants a divorce.

A spokesman for Mr Etheridge said that the MEP was travelling to Strasbourg and would be unavailable for comment.

Mr and Mrs Etheridge hit the headlines in 2011 when they resigned from the Conservative Party after being suspended for posting pictures of themselves holding golliwog dolls on Facebook.

The couple, who campaign against political correctness, said they were trying to promote "healthy debate" about whether the doll was a racist symbol.

Mr Etheridge then joined Ukip as he claimed his right to express his views was being stifled by the Tories.

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