1. ITV Report

UKIP pick Neil Hamilton to fight Newport West by-election

Although he no longer leads the UKIP group in the Senedd, Neil Hamilton remains the party's overall leader in Wales. Credit: Senedd TV

UKIP's Welsh Leader Neil Hamilton is the latest candidate to be picked to fight the Newport West parliamentary by-election. His party sees the contest as a chance to revive its fortunes, as it will be held just days after Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29. MPs could decide next week to ask the EU to delay Brexit if they reject both the Prime Minister's deal and the idea of a 'no deal' Brexit.

Newport voted 'Leave' by a large majority (56%-44%) but the political establishment refuses to listen. UKIP is the only party committed to an immediate, clean Brexit.

– Neil Hamilton AM

Some UKIP members in Newport West are understood to be unhappy at Neil Hamilton's selection. They feel that he has been imposed on them by the central party when they wanted a local candidate.

Neil Hamilton is an enormously experienced campaigner who has been fighting to keep Britain out of the EU since 1967. UKIP is taking this by-election very seriously and we are committing significant resources to it.

– UKIP Leader Gerard Batten

Mr Hamilton joins a growing list of candidates for the by-election caused by the death of the long-serving Labour MP Paul Flynn:

  • Jonathan Clark -Plaid Cymru
  • June Davies -Renew Party
  • Matthew Evans -Conservative
  • Neil Hamilton -UKIP
  • Ruth Jones -Labour
  • Richard Suchorzewski -Abolish the Welsh Assembly
  • Amelia Womack -Green Party

The Liberal Democrats say they'll have a candidate in place by the end of this week. But Nigel Farage has said his new Brexit party won't be standing. The newly formed independent group of MPs has also ruled out fielding a candidate. The by-election will be held on April 4.