A baboon has resigned from UKIP following a fierce debate in the party over its future bananas policies.
Nigel - named after UKIP's charismatic leader - indicated he was leaving the party which, he alleged, 'has been taken over by a cartload of monkeys'.
The resignation follows revelations that two chimpanzees and an orang-utan had left the party amidst claims they had been fiddling their fyffes expenses and following remarks by a UKIP councillor that orang-utans 'should go back to Pongo-Pongo land'.
Labour and the Conservatives have denounced UKIP's attitude as racist while Nick Clegg has challenged Nigel to a televised debate.
Many UKIP members were unaware that the party had a baboon as a member although the party believes that it has strong support from the great ape community.
'I saw Nigel - the baboon- at our party conference once or twice,' one man said, 'but quite honestly he looked like any other party member. And he made a damned good speech on withdrawal from the EU.'
Other UKIP members were unfazed by Nigel's resignation.
'Some of my best friends are baboons,'said one UKIP Europe candidate, 'so I'm not prejudiced against them, but there's only so much room in Whipsnade. The country just can't cope with a tsunami of marsupials from Africa.'
A UKIP spokesman dismissed as 'slimy rumourmongering' a report that two toads and a lizard had also left the party.
And rumours that Nigel the baboon will defect to the Conservative party were strongly rebutted by a Conservative spokesman.
'No chance, 'he said. 'We've already got a baboon as Communities Secretary.'