UKIP Welsh candidate Nathan Gill in immigration focus

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Media caption,

Nigel Farage says opening the UK's borders to new EU members was having a detrimental impact on social cohesion

UKIP's lead Welsh candidate focussed on European immigration and red tape in his speech to the party's national conference.

Using the conference as a launch pad for the forthcoming European election, Nathan Gill said UKIP's ambition is to top the poll in Wales.

He also emphasised UKIP as the only Welsh party in May's poll urging withdrawal from the European Union.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage also addressed the gathering in Torquay.

The party won its first Welsh seat in the last European election in 2009.

A recent ITV Cymru/You Gov opinion poll shows UKIP in second place behind Labour. If that were translated into the election result, UKIP would retain its seat.

However, in a speech to UKIP's national conference, Mr Gill said the party's ambition was to win the election in Wales.

'Positive vision'

Image source, UKIP
Image caption,
Nathan Gill is top of UKIP's list of candidates in Wales

Mr Gill argued that voters "are ready for change and are fed up of the tired old parties".

Highlighting UKIP's "positive vision for Wales and the UK outside the European Union", he said the party's election campaign will focus on concerns about EU immigration and regulations.

BBC Wales' annual St David's Day opinion poll shows 60% of Welsh voters thought immigration to the UK was too high, with only 31% saying the level was "about right".

But the survey, carried out by pollsters ICM, also shows more than half of respondents would like the UK to remain as part of the EU - 54% wanting to stay and 40% wanting to pull out.

Mr Gill secured UKIP's best result in a Welsh assembly seat in the 2013 Ynys Mon by-election - pushing Labour close for second place.

He said UKIP has continued its development in Wales by doubling membership of the party in the past year.