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Euro budget leaves Wales out of pocket says UKIP

UKIP's MEP for Wales, John Bufton, says Welsh taxpayers will still lose out despite the approval of more than €2bn of European aid. He said:

Signing over such a huge amount of money to the EU is a disastrous move, not least for taxpayers in Wales who will undoubtedly be left hugely out of pocket once again.

In the last funding period, Wales’ taxpayers paid £1.65 for every £1 received back in structural and cohesion funding and under this new EU budget we are likely to see more of the same.

Cohesion funds constitute 34% of the EU spending budget which means we are talking about €325 billion over the next seven years – this figure should really get people thinking about the extortionate cost attached to our membership of the EU.

– John Bufton MEP, UKIP

Ex-Tory minister in UKIP Euro bid

Former Welsh Office Minister Rod Richards Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA

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.

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Leader said Assembly campaign was "embarrassing"

Nigel Farage made his comments about devolution last weekend, as UKIP prepared to select its candidate for the Ynys Môn by-election. He said there was an "old guard" in his party that still wanted to abolish the Assembly but he could see it gaining more powers, such as over policing.

I am relaxed about devolution. I am relaxed about a federal future for the UK. Remember, the last time we didn’t do well in the Assembly elections. We had very low grade literature. It wasn’t a well run campaign. I was pretty embarrassed about the whole thing, frankly. UKIP is getting better at what it does.

– UKIP Leader Nigel Farage MEP

We should stay opposed to the Assembly says UKIP's Welsh MEP

UKIP MEP for Wales, John Bufton, has revealed that he completely disagrees with his leader, Nigel Farage, that the party should accept that National Assembly for Wales is here to stay. He was asked to clarify his postion on tonight's Sharp End on ITV Cymru Wales.

Nigel's made some comments regarding that. I think he said that he's comfortable with devolution. I'm certainly not.

I think he talks of the old school. Well, I'm part of the old school. I've been opposed to the Assembly from its inception and remain so.

If the party changes its policy, which it might do, I think it's a big big mistake. Basically there would be no difference between us and the Conservatives.

So if we lose that, our main plank [in Assembly elections], that we want to abolish it; well, then there's an opening ultimately for another party perhaps.

– UKIP MEP for Wales John Bufton

Mr Bufton has announced that he will not seek re-election next year, for personal reasons.