AM storms out of Senedd after transgender comments backlash

Welsh Assembly Member Gareth Bennett has stormed out of plenary after being banned from speaking in the Senedd chamber over comments he made about the transgender community.

Presiding Officer Elin Jones said Mr Bennett had refused to apologise for the comments and therefore wouldn't be allowed to speak on matters until he did.

It comes after the UKIP member caused outrage amongst his peers and members of the transgender community after making comments about the rights of minority groups.

Speaking in the Senedd yesterday, the member who represents South Wales Central, said that granting more rights to a particular minority group will negatively impact on the rights of the majority of people in society.

During his speech, gasps and heckling could be heard by other Assembly Members after he also stated that there needed to be limits to minority rights, namely those of transgender people.

He made the comments in relation to proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act 2004, which hopes to make it easier for trans people to become their desired gender and the gender they feel they are.

Watch Rob Osborne's report on yesterday's events:

Our political reporter Owain Phillips spoke to Mr. Bennett today and he refused to apologise for his comments.

Cat Burton has reacted to the comments made by Gareth Bennett. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Cat Burton is transgender and has been championing transgender rights and diversity for a number of years.

She spoke to ITV Cymru Wales about Mr Bennett's comments.

LGBTQ campaign group, Stonewall, has also reacted to Mr Bennett's comments, stating he was 'demonstrating narrowminded bullying behaviour'.

Following Bennett's dismissal UKIP Wales leader Neil Hamilton said his party was a 'minority whose rights need to be protected'.

It's not the first time the UKIP AM has caused controversy with his comments relating to minority groups. He previously said it was possible Eastern European immigrants were responsible for the capital’s litter problems.

It led to a fellow UKIP member stepping down from running in the Assembly Elections.