Wales politics

UKIP assembly members call for Nathan Gill to resign as AM

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Media captionNathan Gill said UKIP is being disgraced 'in front of the media of Wales'

Five UKIP AMs have called for UKIP Wales leader Nathan Gill to stand down as an AM if he will not resign as an MEP.

It follows a meeting on Tuesday where five of the party's seven AMs took part - Mr Gill was absent.

Assembly group leader Neil Hamilton said: "We cannot carry on having one member of the group the other six are having to carry."

But Mr Gill said a few were "disgracing UKIP in front of the media".

Following a decision by the National Executive Committee (NEC) on Monday Mr Gill is facing expulsion from UKIP unless he resigns from being either a North Wales AM or a Welsh MEP

But Mr Gill has defended his ability to do both jobs and said he would consider legal action if he was expelled from the party.

Mr Hamilton told BBC Wales: "We were all elected to be 100% AMs seven days a week.

"It is physically impossible to combine the two [being an AM and an MEP] and it is not acceptable to be here only on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday."

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Media captionNeil Hamilton said the UKIP AMs who met are united over Nathan Gill's position

He said: "We ask Nathan, if he doesn't want to resign his seat as an MEP, to resign his seat as an AM and allow Mandy Jones - the next on the list in North Wales - to take his position, so there isn't any need to have a by-election."

The group leader said Mr Gill's conduct in not standing down as an MEP was "calculated to bring the party into disrepute and is not acceptable".

Mr Hamilton said those who joined him at the meeting - Caroline Jones, David Rowlands, Gareth Bennett and Michelle Brown - were in agreement. Ms Brown did not attend in person but was "Skyped" in, Mr Hamilton said.

Asked if Mr Hamilton was threatening to throw Mr Gill out of the UKIP assembly group, he said: "This is premature speculation, at the moment."

He added he believed the NEC's deadline for Mr Gill to resign from one of his two jobs is on Sunday.

In response, Mr Gill said: "I feel really sorry for the membership of UKIP who fought really hard to get myself and all these other people elected.

"Here we are, in silly season, in August, and a few people for their own political aims are basically disgracing UKIP in front of the media of Wales.

"It doesn't make any sense whatsoever for people for political reasons to ask me to stand down," he said, adding he was the "face" of the election campaign that "got these people elected".

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