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  1. ITV Report

Gareth Bennett elected as UKIP leader in the Assembly after winning vote

UKIP party members have chosen AM Gareth Bennett as leader of the Assembly group.

Bennett is the assembly member for South Wales Central who joined UKIP in 2014.

He won in the second round with 269 votes and said he was "delighted" to be chosen.

Former Assembly group leader Neil Hamilton got 193 votes. Caroline Jones, who was serving as the current leader, was eliminated after receiving 130 votes in the first round.

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I had stated that this election must be fought on Policies, because UKIP has to stand for something radical and it has to stand for something other than Brexit.

I look forward to working with the other members of the UKIP Group in the Welsh Assembly to challenge the Cardiff Bay Establishment and provide a real alternative for Wales in the next round of Assembly elections in 2021.

– Gareth Bennett, UKIP leader in the Assembly

The UK leader of the party Gerard Batten congratulated Bennett on winning the vote. He said, "I now expect all elected members in Wales to work together for UKIP‘s cause and to get on with the job".

In June, he told ITV Wales on his plans to stand for the leadership and would campaign for a referendum on whether or not the Assembly should continue.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething described him as a "deeply offensive man".

There is a temptation to laugh at this but it really isn’t funny. A deeply offensive man but not amusing in the slightest. He is however the clear choice of UKIP members. That tells you all you need to know.

– Vaughan Gething AM, Health Secretary

Bennett was also banned from plenary in December 2017 following comments he made about the transgender community - for which he later apologised.