European Parliament President Martin Schulz launched a disciplinary inquiry Friday over events that led to the hospitalization of an EU lawmaker from Britain's UK Independence Party (UKIP), with the possibility of imposing fines.
UKIP leadership favourite Steven Woolfe collapsed and was taken to hospital in a serious condition on Thursday after an "altercation" during a meeting with party members in the EU legislature, according to the interim UKIP leader, Nigel Farage.
Woolfe, who had passed out and had two "epileptic-like fits" according to a UKIP spokesman, said in a statement later Thursday that he was feeling "brighter, happier," but was being kept in hospital overnight as a precaution.
"The reported facts are extremely serious," Schulz said on Friday, adding that "disrespectful and violent behaviour does not have a place in the European Parliament."
The behaviour could be in breach of parliamentary rules, he said in a statement, adding that the legislature's advisory committee is to look into the "very regrettable matter" with urgency next week.
Once the facts have been established, Schulz could decide to impose fines - withholding up to 10 days' worth of allowance - or withdraw some of the functions of the lawmakers involved.