UKIP warning for Welsh Tories

A senior Welsh Conservative warns party leadership that traditional supporters who are sceptical about devolution are switching support to UKIP

We're not just for disenchanted Tories says UKIP

UKIP's candidate in last week's Ynys Môn by-election says the party is winning support because it's offering 'a new political voice' in Welsh politics.' Nathan Gill was responding to a Conservative councillor who claims UKIP is winning the votes of traditional Tory supporters in Wales.

It’s not just the Tories we are taking votes from. It’s Labour too. You just have to look at the results of the Ynys Mon by election to see that. But this isn’t about one policy that is turning people to vote for us. It’s about there being a new political voice in what is otherwise a stagnant status quo in politics, not just in Cardiff but in Westminster too. People are waking up to the fact that we openly and bravely tackle the big issues and there is nothing wrong with voting for us. We are not an alternative for disenchanted Conservatives, we are a genuine alternative for all voters.

– Nathan Gill, UKIP

UKIP's facing its own internal debate on devolution. Its leader Nigel Farage signalled a major shift in policy when he called for the party to embrace devolution - something not everyone in the party supports. Nathan Gill says it doesn't mean UKIP wants more government in Wales.

What we are saying is the Assembly Government needs to be streamlined. It needs to be cost effective and it needs to be delivering. However since its establishment The Welsh Assembly has seen public services deteriorate, poverty increase and standards of living drop. That’s a real problem. But UKIP want to challenge the establishment and shake up the way politics works, not just in Brussels, or Westminster but in the Senedd too. Our recent increase in popularity reflects a general public who are crying out for that.

– Nathan Gill, UKIP

Welsh Conservative response to UKIP warning

In response to a warning from one of the Welsh Conservatives' own councillors that the party risks losing support to UKIP unless it changes its approach to devolution, a spokesperson defended that approach, saying that 'we are doing Conservative things with devolution.'

Citing devo-scepticism as a reason for this result is an odd observation – given UKIP’s recent loud calls for far more Assembly powers, tax and criminal justice devolution to Wales, and a federal Britain.

The Welsh Conservatives are the only party in Wales consistently bringing forward innovative new policies – from reversing the decline of the high street, to boosting financial support for small businesses, to growing the nationalised Cardiff Airport and helping Welsh taxpayers get their money back.

We are doing Conservative things with devolution – that’s the way forward and that’s what will make Wales a global success.

With a record 14 Assembly Members we are the official opposition and we will continue holding a failing Labour government to account.

– Welsh Conservatives spokesperson

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UKIP warning for Welsh Tories

A senior Welsh Conservative is warning his party's leadership that traditional supporters are turning to UKIP because of concerns about the Assembly gaining further powers.

In an interview with ITV Cymru Wales, Newport Councillor David Fouweather says the Tories' poor result on Anglesey, in which they came fourth behind UKIP, should be a wake-up call. He says many Conservative supporters in Wales feel their concerns about devolution aren't recognised.

And he says the party leadership needs to 'return to Conservative values' or risk losing seats in the Assembly and European elections.

We have a problem with UKIP and it needs to be addressed. UKIP, I believe, are attracting our support. They're attracting those Conservatives who are anti-Assembly, who are anti-Europe and they're giving those people an opportunity to vote.

– Cllr David Fouweather, Conservative, Newport council