Wales politics

Farage Brexit march bid attempt to intimidate judges, says AM

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Media captionMick Antoniw claims Nigel Farage aims to "intimidate" Supreme Court judges

A plan by UKIP interim leader Nigel Farage to lead a London protest on the day of the government's Supreme Court appeal on Brexit has been attacked by the Welsh Government's top law officer.

Counsel general Mick Antoniw said the march was an attempt to "intimidate" the independent judiciary.

The UK government is challenging a High Court decision that the process to trigger Brexit must be voted on by MPs.

The Welsh Government has applied to have its voice heard at the case.

Mr Antoniw, speaking in the Senedd on Tuesday, called for UKIP group leader Neil Hamilton to "disassociate himself from the comments that were made by his acting leader Nigel Farage who said they would be leading a march of 100,000 people to the Supreme Court, and that people were so angry that there might well be violence arising as a consequence.

"That, all I can see, is an attempt to intimidate an independent judiciary."

Mr Hamilton, who said he did not have a problem with the judgement, said earlier that it was "perfectly lawful" to challenge the independence of judges.

"There's nothing whatever wrong in politicians expressing views either on the judgements to which judges arrive or indeed their competence, or other interest in doing so."

'Avoid disrespect'

Presiding Officer Elin Jones interjected, saying she would call to order anyone who criticised the judges involved in the High Court case.

In an email to members she had said AMs were "free to express their views on the judgment of last Thursday... but must do so in a manner that avoids any disrespect to the judiciary or the law".

Criticism of the conduct of judges is barred in proceedings under the rules of the assembly.

"I'm not expressing a view on any individual judge," said Mr Hamilton told Ms Jones in the chamber.

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