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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

UKIP have another public row in Wales

The row over proposed changes to Assembly Members' expenses so as to accommodate UKIP AM, Neil Hamilton's living arrangements has taken a new twist.

The BBC report that the UKIP Assembly group leader has demanded that UKIP Wales leader Nathan Gill sack an assistant for sending a tweet seeking to rally opposition to the proposed changes put forward by the Assembly's Remuneration Board.

Mr. Hamilton also wants UKIP to expel Llyr Powell, named on the European Parliament website as an assistant to Mr Gill. In return the MEP has accused his Assembly group leader of "awful bullying behaviour":

The latest row broke out after it emerged the assembly was looking at to allow AMs who live in England claim accommodation expenses in Cardiff.

Mr Hamilton, who lives in Wiltshire and is the only AM affected, is unable to claim under existing rules.

In response to the story, Mr Powell tweeted that he had "just emailed my local AMs asking them to vote to protect taxpayers money.

Mr Hamilton, who represents Mid and West Wales, wrote in an email to Mr Gill seen by BBC Wales: "I am outraged that Llyr Powell has publicly implied that my reimbursement claims are a waste of taxpayers' money.

"Worse still, he has apparently incited our political enemies to oppose reimbursement of my costs and to make political capital out of the issue.

"Using Twitter to publicise his actions is wholly malicious and deliberately calculated to damage both me and UKIP."

Mr Hamilton added he was making a disciplinary complaint against Mr Powell, "seeking his expulsion from UKIP".

The former Conservative MP said he had no doubt that "in employment law" Mr Powell's behaviour "constitutes 'gross misconduct' and merits summary dismissal".

"As your employee, his public activities inevitably imply your approval in the absence of evidence to the contrary and I request that you dismiss him forthwith from your employment," Mr Hamilton said.

The former MP for Tatton is once more embroiled in a row about money, this time with members of his own party.

His email also confirms that proposed changes to Assembly Members' remuneration that effectively allow them to live anywhere in the UK and still get expenses reimbursed are down to him.

UKIP in Wales remain at war with themselves.
What a shambolic party UKIP is - if indeed it is a party.

1. Within days of the assemble election, they split. One faction is headed by Hamilton - the other headed by Gill, who is the official leader of UKIP Wales, who, if we recall, was given the job (not elected to it) by Farage. So confusion from the outset.

2. UKIP chairman, Steve Crowther, last week asks Mr Gill to honour a commitment to stand down as an MEP now that he is also an AM for North Wales. Nathan Gill, refuses, and says he wants to carry on as an MEP and as an AM. Why ? Incredibly ..

" He said he earns less as an AM and MEP." BBC Wales News Website 24.07.2016.

Did the man not realise this before he stood for election? And is this the real reason why he entered politics?

3. Ms Caroline Jones, the South Wales West UKIP AM, is one of two people who could take up the role of UKIP Wales MEP if it became vacant - the other being South Wales East AM David Rowlands. So these two would also be guilty of double-jobbing, and Steve Crowther would presumably be against this move as well ?

But what about the UKIP number two candidate on the list? James Cole, apparently, is no longer in the party.

4. This morning we are told that - "We've got Brexit now and I think that, possibly, it may be best to leave that role unfilled," Ms Jones told the Good Morning Wales programme. So UKIP having been elected to serve the people of Wales at European level, think we should leave that role unfilled - a bit like the Labour MPs at Westminster last week.

At present there is utter and complete anarchy within the ranks of UKIP. So just what are the motives that drive these people ?

Is it money, power, ego or simply personal glory ? If they cannot co-operate with their own people - then how on earth are they meant to do that with politicians of other political parties, and to work for the good of the people of Wales ?

Peter - excellent blog. Keep it up!

One other option open to Nathan Gill is..

Carry on as MEP. Resign as North Wales AM. This would then automatically allow the third placed UKIP member on the North Wales List, Mandy Jones, to become the new AM.

He would then be able to claim his full MEP salary of £68,000 + expenses, rather than his meagre Welsh Assembly salary of only £54,391 + expenses.

So he would be £261.71 pence better off every week.

One job, no 'double-jobbing' + extra income + Mandy Jones would be happy + Steve Crowther would be happy + Neil Hamilton would be glad to see the back of him + he could see his mate Nigel Farage more often.

Everyone therefore happy and the problem is solved.

How about it Nathan ?
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