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Tuesday, August 02, 2016

UKIP's civil war comes to a head in Wales

The astonishing internicine warfare within UKIP's Welsh branch took an astonishing turn yesterday with the party's National Executive Committee voting to expel its only MEP, Nathan Gill unless he resigns from one of his two elected positions. Gill is also a North Wales Assembly Member.

The BBC say that UKIP Assembly group leader Neil Hamilton, speaking at the National Eisteddfod, believes that the vote on Mr Gill "had nothing to do with infighting":

"When he was seeking nomination for the assembly he said that if he was elected he would stand down as MEP and devote his time to furthering the interests of the people of Wales. He hasn't done so," he said.

"I'm afraid we're only seven out of 60 members of the assembly. We can't afford part-time or half-time AMs. He has a choice. You can't do two jobs properly. He has to choose one or the other."

On Friday, the chairman of UKIP Wales, Chris Smart, said Mr Gill should step down as an MEP as a successor was now available.

Mr Smart said James Cole - who was number two on UKIP's Wales list at the 2014 European election and who has since rejoined the party - was ready to take over.

However, Mr Gill previously said calls for him to quit the role had been made out of "malice".

In an open letter, Nathan Gill said: "It is not for the NEC to inform me how to fulfil the mandate that I have been given by the electorate."

He said he was "not going to be coerced by the NEC into resigning positions to which I have been either elected by the people of Wales or appointed by the party leader".

Mr Gill added the decision may be "in clear breach of contract".

A group meeting of UKIP's AMs is expected to discuss the issue today, however Nathan Gill will not be there. He told Radio Wales this morning that he is currently in Bangor and could not possibly get to the meeting on time.

Whatever, Neil Hamilton wishes to call it, UKIP AMs have been fighting amongst themselves like ferrets in a sack ever since the Assembly elections. With the European referendum behind us there must be real questions now as to what UKIP are for and how they are relevant to Welsh politicsl, other than as a side show put there for our amusement?
Hamilton should not use the nations cultural high spot to talk about ukips cheap problems. Also the MEP from his cushy European number. would not like to loose his lucrative pay be stepping down
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