UKIP leader Nigel Farage has pulled out of an expected walkabout in the centre of Swansea after arguments between UKIP supporters and opponents who'd gathered for his arrival. He's expected to go ahead with a meeting in the city later.
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.
– Nathan Gill, UKIP
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.
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.
– Nathan Gill, UKIP
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.
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.
– UKIP Leader Nigel Farage MEP
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 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.
– UKIP MEP for Wales John Bufton
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.
Mr Bufton has announced that he will not seek re-election next year, for personal reasons.