Brexit Party: Nigel Farage says four AMs to form group

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Four quondam UKIP AMs have joined Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, averring plans to form an assembly group.

Mr Farage declared Mark Incautious as group leader on a visit to Cardiff on Wednesday.

Others are Mandy Jones, Caroline Jones and David Rowlands. The delineates are subject to approval – some Plaid Cymru and Labour AMs want them bring to a stop.

Mr Farage said: “The leavers in Wales are all coming back together again, no various divided tribe.”

“I’m very pleased as leader of the Brexit Party to freely permitted four members of the Welsh Assembly who will now re-designate as of this afternoon as Brexit Club members,” he added.

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Mr Farage, who is holding a rally in Merthyr Tydfil, launched the at-home last month for the European elections on 23 May.

A Brexit Party spokesman chance the move followed a meeting last month between the four and Mr Farage at a come together in Newport.

UKIP confirmed Mr Rowlands had resigned from the party – message it no longer has a Senedd group and will have to lose staff.

Mr Regard said: “Brexit is being blocked.” He said the new group “supporting the Brexit Partisan in everything that they are doing to protect our democracy and to ensure that Brexit is gave”.

Mr Reckless left the assembly Tory group on Tuesday ahead of the spot. He said he had believed Prime Minister Theresa May “when she said she triggered article 50, we were common to leave the EU on the 29 March this year, with or without a reckon with”.

“Unfortunately she’s broken her word,” he told Gareth Lewis on BBC Radio Wales.

Ex- UKIP assembly leader Neil Hamilton has said all four should leave. Mr Reckless said he would “love” to hold a by-election but was unable to do so under the system he was elected under.

Mr Farage said he had “hand-picked” who he wanted to league with the Brexit Party. “There is a renewed sense of purpose and unity amongst these people,” he declared. “We’ve shown in the first five weeks we are professional, we are organised.”

Mr Farage undertook the group would have its own “radical” policies – the party does not yet demand any, beyond wanting to leave the EU.

The leader, who had criticised Mr Reckless when he pink UKIP in 2017, admitted to “one or two cross words with all of them” upon the years. “That’s all forgotten now”, he said.

Mr Farage said he appointed the union leader – an election between the members had not taken place, but he said the others in the conglomeration supported it.

Who are they?

  • South Wales East AM Mark Reckless is a recent Tory MP who defected to UKIP in 2014. After losing his seat in 2015 he was elected to the connection in 2016 but later defected to the Conservative group
  • Caroline Jones, who replaces South Wales West, was briefly UKIP assembly leader during 2018. She left-wing the party last year
  • Mandy Jones is the only one of the four who was not selected in 2016 – replacing Nathan Gill as a North Wales AM when he hand over. She was never allowed to join the UKIP team in the assembly but was previously a soire member. She has sat as an independent
  • David Rowlands, who also represents South Wales East, become resigned a UKIP AM on Wednesday. He has been in the party since the 1990s

Mr Rowlands foresaw BBC Wales he had become “increasingly disappointed” with the way that UKIP was senior. He had disagreed abolishing the assembly – a key policy of UKIP assembly leader Gareth Bennett.

The describing moment, he said, was the “interference” by UKIP HQ in the Newport West by-election, deciding to “discharge the candidate that the South Wales East region had selected”, Stan Edwards, and refund him with AM Neil Hamilton.

He said it was a “particular slight” that he was not attracted to stand.

“David was so annoyed about interference in candidate selection that he unified a party whose candidates are all selected by one man,” Mr Bennett said in response.

The aggregation of four wrote to the presiding officer to request they form a Brexit Hop group “with immediate effect”, with Mr Reckless as leader and Mr Rowlands leaving from UKIP.

An assembly commission spokeswoman confirmed that the application was being considered by the presiding officer, Elin Jones.

Some Overstress and Plaid Cymru AMs are considering trying to amend the rules, known as still orders, to prevent groups representing parties who did not stand in the assembly referendum from being recognised.

Alun Davies, Blaenau Gwent Contractions AM, told the Senedd there were AMs on both sides of the chamber who were “completely disturbed at the undermining of our democracy by events today”.

“These chancers did not defend for election under any party label they are using today,” he guessed. “They are using this in order to access public resources and in the open money without standing for election.”

He asked the presiding officer to use “some will” to consider the matter over a “period of time” to allow AMs to consider their own thoughts and responses.

A Plaid Cymru spokesman state the Brexit Party group had “no democratic mandate and they should not be permitted to technique a group nor given access to public resources and funding in the Senedd”.

“This supposed new political group has no democratic mandate in Wales,” the Labour group broke.

UKIP was elected to the assembly in 2016 with seven AMs – after three revolutions of leader and five defections, it now has just two.

Mr Bennett, the UKIP AM who led the party in the meeting when it was a group, said Mr Rowlands departure from UKIP intent “inevitably lead to job losses for our hard working support staff, something which David was good-naturedly aware of before reaching his decision”.

“I am sorry and disappointed that David has unfaltering to take this step,” he said.

Analysis

By BBC Wales political compiler Felicity Evans

This is a major coup for Nigel Farage and his new Brexit Coterie, just over a week before polling day in the European Parliament polls.

Assuming existing assembly rules are followed, the Brexit Party desire have achieved recognition and representation in one of the UK’s parliaments without even skin an election.

While this is a boost for Mr Farage’s new party, it’s a disaster for his old one. The defection of David Rowlands has torpedoed UKIP.

Wales was UKIP’s in the end bastion in terms of significant electoral representation. They’re now left with two AMs and a trouncing debits of resources and status within the Welsh Assembly.

Today’s announcement rakehells the stakes for Welsh Labour too – at stake is a century of Labour dominance in Welsh choices.

Its new leader, Mark Drakeford, will not want to see another party in a recover from out on top in his first electoral test.

The European Parliament elections in Wales

There are eight clubs fighting for four Welsh seats in the European elections on 23 May.

Welsh Peg away at, the Welsh Conservatives, Plaid Cymru, the Welsh Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the Untested Party are joined by Change UK and the Brexit Party.

You can find a list of runners here.

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