Wales politics

UKIP's Neil Hamilton told sexist language unacceptable

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Media captionElin Jones said she received a number of complaints about Mr Hamilton's words

UKIP AM Neil Hamilton has been told off by Presiding Officer Elin Jones for his sexist language towards two women AMs.

He sparked a row by describing Leanne Wood and Kirsty Williams as "political concubines" in Carwyn Jones' "harem" for supporting Labour.

Ms Jones told the Senedd on Tuesday she had spoken privately to Mr Hamilton who she said had accepted her view on his "unacceptable" language.

Mr Hamilton told AMs he had not intended to upset anyone.

Opening the plenary session, Ms Jones said she had had complaints about the comments made by the UKIP group leader in his maiden Senedd speech last Wednesday.

'Ludicrous'

She said she found Mr Hamilton's "insult of the integrity of other members through sexist language and sexual innuendo to be unacceptable".

The presiding officer said the UKIP group leader "fell foul" of standing orders against "discourteous and unbecoming conduct", and "language that is disorderly, discriminatory, offensive, or which detracts from he dignity of the assembly".

Ms Jones said she wanted to see more "vibrant, vigorous and robust" debate in the assembly, but warned members not to "cross the line".

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Media captionNeil Hamilton says he meant no disrespect by his comments

Responding to the presiding officer, Mr Hamilton claimed he was using imagery so "ludicrous" it should not have been taken seriously.

He said he was trying to make a point in a humorous way about Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrat AM "getting into bed with Labour".

As AMs began to jeer, the presiding officer asked Mr Hamilton to bring his comments to a close, saying she did not want a "re-run" of the previous week's contribution.

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