UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Henry Bolton unanimously lost a vote of no confidence on January 22 amid a scandal surrounding the "racist" remarks his girlfriend Jo Marney made on social media about Prince Harry's fiance Meghan Markle.
UKIP's Deputy leader Margot Parker has resigned in protest following Bolton's refusal to stand down after the no-confidence vote.
Sputnik: What is your take on the ongoing scandals in UKIP? What impact have these scandals had on the party's reputation?
Martin Smith: I think the party really has had a problem since the EU referendum because actually it lost its direction and it lost its reason for being.
It has already had three leaders, none of whom could be ready to carry on the party, post-referendum. And this scandal creates a very difficult situation for a party which is already in a difficult situation.
Sputnik: Why did the party fail to gain any momentum, especially after the Brexit vote in favor of leaving the European Union?
Martin Smith: I think the problem for the party is that there is nothing to hold it together except for leaving the European Union.
Other than the EU, there is no core ideology that the UKIP stands for and I think it means that the UKIP has always been difficult to hold together.
[Former UKIP leader] Nigel Farage's charisma was a mechanism for holding it together and when he left, the party [began] falling to pieces.
Sputnik: Many party supporters have called on Nigel Farage to return as party leader, do you think this is likely?
Martin Smith: I think he will do what he thinks is best for him and that may be organizing some other political movements outside the UKIP rather than actually getting bogged down in the UKIP's civil war.
The views and opinions expressed by Martin Smith are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.