In the last election both Neil Hamilton and Mark Reckless were elected to the Assembly despite no living in Wales hand in the case of Mark Reckless no discernible left UKIP to join the Conservative Group in the Welsh Assembly, however, he did not rejoin the Conservative party.
Gerard Batten’s remarks endorse the position of Gareth Bennett, UKP’s assembly leader elected in the summer.
Mr Bennett’s vow to campaign for the assembly’s closure is not shared by everyone in his group.
Speaking in Cardiff after meeting UKIP’s four remaining assembly members, Mr Batten denied he was taking the UK party in a more extreme direction.
Difficulties among the party’s AMs has seen their numbers fall from seven in May 2016 to just four, with former leader Caroline Jones exiting the party most recently.
Mr Bennett wants a referendum on the future of the assembly, but that has been opposed by David Rowlands and Michelle Brown, the latter of published at the weekend arguing that campaigning to abolish the body would harm the party.
In an interview with BBC Wales the London MEP said Mr Bennett’s views on the assembly “are his opinion. It isn’t party policy at the moment”
But he said:
“One of the things we’re going to do is we’re going to have a conference of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and our members of the London Assembly, to decide what the way forward is.“Should we have a national policy, should we have different policies in those different areas of the United Kingdom.”“One of the ideas that’s coming up is that we could campaign for a referendum, so that people actually get to decide whether they want to keep the assemblies or the parliaments or not.“If we did that, members of the London Assembly, members of the Welsh Assembly would be free to campaign on either side of the argument.“I’m happy with whatever the Welsh people decide. If they decided if they want it to continue or abolish it, I would be happy with that because it’s a democratic decision.“I think a referendum would be the best way to go forward,
No mention of Scotland, where less face it no one take it seriously.Indeed given that London has a Mayor its possible that Londoners, would find that there must have some day to day accountability and a body to do just that.
Only in Wales can we possibly see Ukip’s proposals gaining ground.
In the Ukip Welsh leadership 514 of the party’s 876 members voted. Caroline Jones was eliminated in the first round with 130 votes. Gareth Bennett went on to win the second round, with 269 votes to Neil Hamilton’s 193.
So it a small pool for Ukip to find quality candidates (yes I know quality and Ukip!) to stand for the
Assembly Parliament but of course there will be a number of Ukip Members of the European Parliament including Gerard Batten who will be redundant after we leave the EU.