Mike Hookem

Michael Hookem (born 9 October 1953) is a British politician who served as Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Yorkshire and the Humber from 2014 to 2019.[1]

Mike Hookem
Deputy Leader of the
UK Independence Party
In office
27 February 2018  24 May 2019
LeaderGerard Batten
Preceded byMargot Parker
Succeeded byPat Mountain
UKIP Spokesperson for Defence
In office
17 April 2019  12 August 2019
LeaderGerard Batten
Richard Braine
Preceded byRay Finch
Succeeded byBen Walker
In office
24 July 2014  29 November 2016
LeaderNigel Farage
Diane James
Preceded byGerard Batten
Succeeded byBill Etheridge
UKIP Spokesperson for Fisheries
and Veterans Affairs
In office
29 November 2016  12 August 2019
LeaderPaul Nuttall
Henry Bolton
Gerard Batten
Richard Braine
Preceded byRay Finch
Succeeded byJonathon Riley
Member of the European Parliament
for Yorkshire and the Humber
In office
1 July 2014  1 July 2019
Preceded byRebecca Taylor
Succeeded byJake Pugh
Personal details
Michael Hookem

(1953-10-09) 9 October 1953 (age 67)
Kingston upon Hull, England
Political partyUK Independence Party (2008–2019)
Other political
Labour Party (1982–2008)

A former member of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Hookem served as UKIP's Deputy Leader under Gerard Batten from February 2018 until his resignation in May 2019 to run for the leadership.[2] He also served as Spokesperson for Fisheries and Veterans Affairs from 2016 to 2019,[3] and as Spokesperson for Defence in 2019 and previously from 2014 to 2016.[4]

Early life

Hookem grew up in the fishing community in the east of Kingston upon Hull, and left school at 15. His father worked on the docks.[5] Hookem enlisted in the Royal Air Force at the age of 17, and served for four years.[5]

After working in various trades he rejoined the military, serving in the Royal Engineers as a TA Commando Engineer for nine years.[5]

UKIP politics

Hookem voted for the Labour Party until he became disillusioned with what he considered "a criminal Labour government".[5] In response to his disillusionment with Labour, Hookem joined UKIP in 2008, after having for years been a Labour member.[5]

He stood as UKIP candidate in Kingston upon Hull East in the 2010 general election, and finished fourth with 2,745 votes (8%).

Hookem was elected in 2014 to the European Parliament.[1] He had served as UKIP's regional chairman for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire until that election. He was replaced as chairman by Judith Morris from July 2014.

On 6 October 2016, Hookem was involved in a fight with fellow UKIP MEP Steven Woolfe during a UKIP meeting at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.[5][6][7] Hookem said he had not punched Woolfe, but did admit to a "scuffle" with him and that he acted in self-defence.[8][9] The altercation was an outgrowth of a party meeting to discuss news reports that Woolfe was in talks about defecting to the Conservative Party.[9] Hookem said Woolfe "took exception" to his comment about Woolfe turning his leadership application paperwork late.[9] Hookem was asked if he would accept a suspension and Hookem said: "If they suspend me, yes. By our rules if they suspend me they have to suspend Steven Woolfe".[9]

Hookem stood as UKIP's candidate for Great Grimsby in the 2017 general election, finishing third with 1,647 votes (4.6%), thus losing his deposit.

Following the election of Henry Bolton as leader of UKIP, Hookem was appointed assistant deputy leader as well as UKIP spokesman on fisheries and on veterans affairs.[10] He stood down as the party's assistant deputy leader on 22 January 2018 after Bolton refused to resign as leader following a vote of no confidence in him from UKIP's National Executive Committee the previous day.[11]

From February 2018 to May 2019, Hookem served as UKIP's Deputy Leader; Hookem resigned in May 2019 to challenge Gerard Batten's leadership of the party. He sat as a non-attached (Non-Inscrit) Member of the European Parliament following the party's split from the EFDD Group led by UKIP's former leader, Nigel Farage, while Batten and Stuart Agnew joined the Europe of Nations and Freedom group.

Since leaving UKIP, Hookem founded the Alliance for Democracy and Freedom party and intends to stand candidates in the 2021 local elections.

Elections contested

UK Parliament

Date of electionConstituencyPartyVotes %Result
2010 general electionKingston upon Hull EastUKIP2,7458.0[12]Not elected
2015 general electionWentworth and DearneUKIP10,73324.9Not elected
2017 general electionGreat GrimsbyUKIP1,6484.6Not elected

European Parliament elections

YearRegionPartyVotes %ResultNotes
2014Yorkshire and the HumberUKIP403,63031.1ElectedMulti member constituencies; party list
2019Yorkshire and the HumberUKIP56,1004.4Not electedMulti member constituencies; party list


  1. "Mike HOOKEM". European Parliament. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  2. "May has now set out how she will betray the UK fishing industry!". UKIP. 2 March 2018.
  3. "Paul Nuttall builds up UKIP's top team". BBC News. 29 November 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  4. Allegretti, Aubrey; Waugh, Paul (6 October 2016). "Steven Woolfe Recovering In Hospital After Altercation At Ukip MEPs Meeting". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  5. Booth, Robert (6 October 2016). "Mike Hookem: a 'working-class lad' who turned to Ukip". The Guardian. Kings Place, London. Retrieved 9 October 2016. A Labour voter most of his life, Mike Hookem joined Ukip in 2008 and recently became its defence spokesman. His father worked filleting fish on the Humberside docks and Hookem left school at 15, working in low-paid jobs before joining the Royal Air Force at 17. He left after four years but later rejoined the armed forces as commando engineer in the Royal Engineers. He has also worked as a bus and lorry driver, a carpenter and a joiner.
  6. Watts, Joe (6 October 2016). "Steven Woolfe collapse: Ukip leadership favourite in 'serious condition' after altercation at European Parliament". The Independent. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  7. "UKIP's Steven Woolfe in hospital 'after altercation'". BBC News. 6 October 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  8. "UKIP MEP Mike Hookem denies assaulting Steven Woolfe". BBC News. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  9. "Mike Hookem: 'I acted in self-defence'". ITV. London. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  10. Walker, Peter (18 October 2017). "New Ukip leader Henry Bolton reveals frontbench lineup". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  11. Kentish, Benjamin (22 January 2018). "Mike Hookem: Ukip assistant deputy leader steps down after Henry Bolton refuses to resign". The Independent. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  12. "Hull East". BBC News. Retrieved 10 November 2015.