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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Battle lines drawn within UKIP

Controversy over UKIP's number one list candidate in South Wales Central has been reignited after former Tory MP, Neil Hamilton leapt to his defence.

The Western Mail reports that Mr. Hamilton has defended fellow Ukip National Assembly candidate Gareth Bennett, who has been accused of a "shocking slur" after criticising the multiracial nature of Cardiff and saying Eastern Europeans were responsible for some rubbish problems.

Hamilton said unemployed Mr Bennett was "a nice chap" and "would make a very good AM" and said he was not a "racist or unpleasant person":

Asked whether Mr Bennett, who made his controversial comments in an interview with WalesOnline , should keep his candidacy, Mr Hamilton said: “Most definitely. I think he has been misinterpreted.

“Maybe he could have phrased his comments a bit better, but he’s not an experienced politician.

“A lot of Ukip’s public appeal is based on the fact that many of its candidates are not experienced politicians.

“I’ve met him several times. He’s not a racist or an unpleasant person. In fact he’s a nice chap and I think he’ll make a very good AM.

“Anyway, the fuss seems to have died down. It was a squib. I don’t see the regional list candidates being changed now.”

In contrast, another Ukip Assembly candidate, Llyr Powell, has been very critical of Mr Bennett’s comments, which suggested immigrants from Eastern Europe were responsible for rubbish in Cardiff’s City Road area, dubbed Cardiff council’s Labour leader Phil Bales “brain dead” and revealed that he doesn’t approve of knocking on voters’ doors during election campaigns.

Mr Powell, due to stand in Neath and on the South Wales West regional list, says he will withdraw if Mr Bennett is not deselected. He also says around 15 Ukip candidates have called for Mr Bennett to go.
Mr Bennett should have checked his "evidence" with the experience of other parts of the UK which have not had any significant immigration. He would have found that there has been a general increase in littering, that we have become a dirtier nation as a whole.

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