Wales politics

Former UKIP Wales leader Nathan Gill quits party

Nathan Gill Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nathan Gill is a former UKIP Wales leader and a former assembly leader

Former UKIP Wales leader Nathan Gill has left the party.

The Wales MEP said he can no longer belong to an organisation that has switched its focus from Brexit to a "foolish pursuit against Islam".

"UKIP has betrayed its members," Mr Gill said. He served as Wales party leader from 2014 to 2016, and was an AM until he quit at the end of 2017.

A UKIP Wales spokesman said Mr Gill had been "irrelevant" after quitting the assembly and had "done nothing" since.

It comes after former leader Nigel Farage, who had appointed Mr Gill to the leadership job, left the party.

Mr Farage said the party's leader Gerard Batten seemed to be obsessed with Islam and Tommy Robinson.

Mr Batten has appointed the former English Defence League leader, also known as Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, as an advisor.

In a letter to party chairwoman Kirstan Herriot, Mr Gill said: "I can no longer belong to a party that has switched its primary focus from Brexit, to a foolish pursuit against Islam and the promotion of Tommy Robinson."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The party's association with Tommy Robinson was "giving ammunition to the Remainers", said Nathan Gill

He said the party was "giving ammunition to the Remainers by insisting on this association with Tommy Robinson".

Last weekend Mr Batten survived a vote of no confidence at UKIP's ruling body, the National Executive Committee.

But it said it did not endorse Mr Robinson's appointment and he was barred from membership "through his associations".

Proposals for a ballot on Mr Robinson's leadership, which were later put off, prompted concern from two UKIP AMs last month, Michelle Brown and David Rowlands.

Since then, Ms Brown has called for a ballot on Mr Batten's leadership.

A UKIP Wales spokesman said: "Nathan who? I have almost no idea who he is.

"He has been completely irrelevant since he gave up his assembly seat, and has since done nothing."

The spokesman said UKIP Welsh assembly leader Gareth Bennett would not be quitting the party.

More on this story