UKIP leader Nigel Farage said he would not be kicking Godfrey Bloom out of the party because of what he called an "outdated sense of humour".
However, Farage conceded that an outburst from the MEP, in which he called women "sluts", has damaged the party.
"The impression has been given Godfrey thinks somehow women really aren't quite the same as men and really not up to the same standard as men, and that's the impression that the sense of humour has given and that's not been a good thing for us," said Farage.
Godfrey Bloom released a statement announcing that he will sit as an independent MEP but will remain a UKIP member:
– Godfrey Bloom
I have felt for some time now that the ‘New UKIP’ is not really right for me anymore. I shall sit out my term as an independent and give my whole hearted support to Jane Collins who is almost certainly going to be the next UKIP MEP and probably a second seat yet to be decided. I shall of course retain my membership.
Godfrey Bloom says he will sit as an independent MEP until next year's European election but has not quit UKIP.
Mr Bloom, an MEP for Yorkshire and Humber, was stripped of the party whip last week after calling women "sluts" at a UKIP conference fringe event.
Mr Bloom said the "New UKIP" was "not really right for me any more". His spokeswoman said it was not clear whether he would seek re-election for a third term next May.
The controversial UK Independence Party MEP Godfrey Bloom repeatedly refused to answer questions on his future when he was confronted by ITV News.
Mr Bloom, who had the party whip removed from him yesterday for referring to women as "sluts" was asked how his constituents in North Yorkshire would feel about his actions yesterday.
At one point Mr Bloom pushed the camera away. He then laughed when he was asked whether his wife cleaned behind the fridge, and appeared to question the "recruitment procedure" of the channel. Mr Bloom was then pulled away from the camera.
Ukip's chairman has confirmed to ITV News that Godfrey Bloom is not the party's spokesman on the defence or the economy.
TV journalist Michael Crick had earlier cited a party spokesman as saying the MEP remained in both positions despite his suspension for calling women "sluts" at a conference event.
A Ukip spokesman has reportedly confirmed Godfrey Bloom is still party spokesman on defence and the economy despite being suspended from the party's group in the European Parliament for jokingly calling women "sluts" at a conference fringe event.
Channel 4 political correspondent Michael Crick, the TV journalist who Mr Bloom later hit with a copy of the conference brochure, tweeted:
Ukip spokesman confirms Bloom is still party spokesman on defence + economy + still party member. He admits losing Euro Parl whip is nothing
Ukip spokesman clarifies that Godfrey Bloom IS suspended from Ukip group in European Parliament, but that Ukip doesn't whip its MEPs
Ukip leader Nigel Farage has admitted that his party's annual conference has been "slightly overshadowed" by the controversy surrounding MEP Godfrey Bloom.
ITV News' Political Correspondent Romilly Weeks put it to him that "it has all gone a bit pear-shaped":
Ukip supporters have been giving their reaction to the controversy over MEP Godfrey Bloom's comments which have overshadowed the party's annual conference.
Whilst there is not unanimous support for Mr Bloom, all agree that the incident was marginal and will not harm the party's standing.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage has arrived at his party's conference in London today.
Mr Farage is not expected to speak on the last day of a conference that has been overshadowed by controversy over MEP Godfrey Bloom's comments.
The UK Independence Party's conference concludes today after being overshadowed by the actions of one of its MEPs.
Godfrey Bloom had the whip withdrawn after calling women at a conference fringe event "sluts" and hitting a TV journalist with a copy of the gathering's brochure.
The row diverted attention from Mr Farage's keynote speech, in which he predicted the party was on course to "cause an earthquake" by winning next year's European elections in what will effectively be a referendum on Britain's future EU membership.