Sunday 25 September 2016

Ukip defector sets up party with mission to abolish Welsh Assembly

Published 22/10/2015 | 12:51

A new party has been formed with the aim of abolishing the Welsh Assembly
A new party has been formed with the aim of abolishing the Welsh Assembly

A former treasurer of Ukip has set up a new political party aiming to do away with devolution in Wales.

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Abolish The Welsh Assembly said it wants to represent the hundreds of thousands who voted No in the country's 1997 referendum.

Founder and leader David Bevan admits the prospect getting rid of Wales' main political institution in the imminent future is unlikely.

However, he said the group will be putting forward candidates for next year's Assembly elections and claimed they could be a credible alternative to established parties.

The Neath-born businessman said: "The Assembly has failed to deliver for the people of Wales.

"The Assembly is another expensive tier of Government which is totally unnecessary.

"We in Wales already have councillors, MPs, MEPs. How many tiers of government does Wales need?

"We will have one policy only: abolish the Assembly".

"This is logical because we believe it is in Wales' best interests to send 40 MPs to the Westminster Parliament and remain a fully integrated part of the United Kingdom."

Mr Bevan, who stood as Ukip candidate in the 2011 election, said he resigned from his old party because of its u-turn on the Welsh Assembly.

"Ukip were originally very strongly against Assembly but ended up 'going native' - in the same way the Conservatives did," he added.

"So, I decided to set up this party to represent the views of the many Welsh people who do not want an Assembly at all.

"The Yes vote in the 1997 referendum was only won by less than 6,000 votes.

"Some people may say times have moved on, but I truly believe there are plenty of No voters still out there - and people who would still vote No given the chance again.

"A lot of politicians keep saying that devolution is a process - but that process should be a two-way thing."

Mr Bevan said if any party members were elected next year they would not abstain from the Assembly.

"We can be much more than a protest vote," he added. "I accept it is unlikely we would be able to abolish the Assembly after our first election.

"But if we did win any seats then we would oppose any further transfer of powers from Westminster to Cardiff Bay.

"And we would also oppose the plan to increase the number of seats in the Assembly from 60 now, to 80 or even 100 as proposed by pro-Assembly groups."

Press Association

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