- 3 updates
There's been a strong reaction online to the news that former Welsh Office minister Rod Richards has joined UKIP and is said to be seeking selection as one of the party's candidates in next year's European Parliament elections. Plaid Cymru's Dafydd Elis Thomas tweeted his response:
Matthew Evans, who leads the Conservative group on Newport council, said he was sorry to see Mr Richards finally sever links with his party.
But one UKIP tweeter was doubtful about the former minister's chances of winning the support of members of his new party.
A leading UKIP member in Wales has quit a top party job because of the inclusion of a former Conservative minister in the list of those hoping to become MEP for Wales.
I understand that Kevin Mahoney, a Vale of Glamorgan councillor, has resigned as Regional Organiser for Wales and withdrawn his own bid from the application process because of his objection to the inclusion of Rod Richards on lists for further consideration by members.
I understand that the former Welsh Office Minister and former leader of the Conservatives in the Assembly, Rod Richards, is now a member of UKIP and is hoping to become one of the party's candidates in next year's European elections. Mr Richards wouldn't confirm or deny the claims.
UKIP's current MEP, John Bufton, is standing down at the next election. The party's list of candidates to replace him won't be finalised until October following a full ballot of members but I understand that Rod Richards is amongst those who have applied to be considered.
I've also been told there's 'disquiet' amongst some UKIP members about the fact that Mr Richards has put his name forward for selection. One source told me they're 'fairly confident that our membership would not vote' for him if he's confirmed.