UKIP AM Gareth Bennett has said sorry for causing offence with his comments over the transgender community last month.

Mr Bennett, who represents South Wales Central, was banned from speaking in the Senedd chamber in December, after saying that granting more rights to a particular minority group will negatively impact on the rights of the majority of people in society. Presiding Officer Elin Jones told him he would not be called to speak again in the chamber until he apologised for his comments.

During this afternoon's plenary, Mr Bennett said he was sorry for offence caused.

I'm sorry that people took offence at what I said and I wish to make it clear that I respect your authority as chair. I do however stand by the views I expressed about the proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Bill.

Gareth Bennett AM, UKIP South Wales Central
Presiding Officer Elin Jones had banned Mr Bennett from speaking in the chamber until he apologised.

I accept your apology Gareth Bennett and you may be assured that I'll always uphold the right of any member in this chamber to air views that are unpalatable to other members and to others as well, but all members need to do so using language that is both parliamentary and non-discriminatory at all times.

Elin Jones AM, Presiding Officer