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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Welsh UKIP in disarray yet again

Two news items yesterday have highlighted the extent of the disarray into which the Welsh UKIP group have plunged themselves once more.

Having effectively ousted Neil Hamilton as leader, UKIP then attempted to secure a sinecure for him as the party's member of the Assembly Commission. However, Hamilton's failure to back a new dignity and respect policy counted against him and the appointment was voted down.

During that debate, Mandy Jones, who was elected on the UKIP list in North Wales but who is sitting as an Independent after a row over her staff, spoke against the appointment. She has now been suspended from UKIP for allegedly 'damaging' her party:

In an email party secretary, Adam Richardson said Ms Jones's speech last week was "damaging to Mr Hamilton and to the larger party in Wales, which is in desperate need of unity."

He said the resulting press publicity was "all... quite unnecessary and extremely harmful at a temperamental time".

Ms Jones now faces an emergency disciplinary hearing, which she will be able to attend.

Meanwhile the row over the party's Assembly leadership has escalate with the BBC reporting that UKIP party members are to be balloted on who should be leader of the party's assembly group:

Caroline Jones has only been the leader of the UKIP group in Cardiff Bay since May, after she ousted Neil Hamilton.

She told BBC Wales the party's UK deputy leader Mike Hookem informed the group of five AMs about the ballot in a meeting on Monday. However, she told the BBC that she does not know why a ballot had been called.

When UKIP were first elected to the Assembly they vowed to shake things up. All the shaking however, is taking place within their own ranks.
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