Wales politics

Attempt to stop Brexit Party forming a Senedd group

Mark Reckless, Caroline Jones, Mandy Jones and David Rowlands
Image caption Mark Reckless, Caroline Jones, Mandy Jones and David Rowlands (l-r)

AMs are trying to stop the Brexit Party from forming a group in the assembly, BBC Wales has learned.

The planned group led by Mark Reckless and which includes Mandy Jones, Caroline Jones and David Rowlands, is subject to assembly approval.

At least six AMs from different parties are expected to put a rule change to the assembly's business committee which could then be voted upon by AMs.

An amendment could be laid as early as today.

The rule change would not allow an AM elected on the regional list to defect to a party which has no previous representation.

Amending the standing orders of the assembly would require a two thirds majority.

A source told BBC Wales that members who wished to form a Brexit Party group had "driven a coach and horses through the electoral system"

Speaking on BBC Radio Cymru's Post Cyntaf programme, Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles said talks are underway to see if there is support to change Assembly standing orders which could stop the Brexit Party from becoming a group.

He said: "We are having those discussions at the moment. I don't think they should be supported as a group in the Senedd and we need cross party discussions now to ensure there is consensus on this"

Image caption Mark Reckless, Nigel Farage, Mandy Jones, Caroline Jones and David Rowlands (l-r) announced the planned Brexit Party group on the Senedd steps on Wednesday

Opposition parties have stopped short of calling for rule changes.

Plaid Cymru have called on the Presiding Officer Elin Jones to "do the right thing".

A spokesperson for the Labour group said "this so called new political group has no democratic mandate in Wales".

A Brexit Party spokesperson said "we believe we have made all the necessary arrangements to form a group in the Senedd and now await Ms Jones's decision".

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