Wales

UKIP 'plans to open valleys branch,' MEP Nathan Gill says

Nathan Gill
Image caption Nathan Gill said Labour had 'taken Wales and the people of Wales for granted'

The UK Independence Party plans to open a new branch in the south Wales valleys next month, says its Welsh MEP.

Speaking at the party's national conference in Doncaster, Nathan Gill said Labour "no longer represents people on the streets of Wales".

In May's European elections UKIP came within a whisker of beating Labour for votes.

It topped the poll in Conwy, Flintshire, Denbighshire, Wrexham, Vale of Glamorgan and Powys.

It came second to Labour in four other constituencies, including Merthyr Tydfil.

Mr Gill told BBC Wales that the party's success in traditional Labour heartlands at the last European elections was a sign of changing attitudes.

On that basis the party planned to open a branch in the Rhondda, he said.

He said: "For too long the Labour Party has taken Wales and the people of Wales for granted.

"Merthyr Tydfil like so many other towns and cities in Wales has woken to the fact that after 114 years and six Labour prime ministers, and 15 years of Labour rule in Cardiff, the Labour Party no longer speaks for or represents the man and woman on the street."

In a speech which echoed party leader Nigel Farage, Mr Gill said that Labour had failed in its economic and education policies, reserving the biggest criticism for the "run down" NHS in Wales.

In an interview with BBC Wales earlier this week, Mr Farage said the party had not ruled out winning seats in Wales in next year's general election.

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