Wales politics

UKIP Welsh MEP post best left unfilled, AM Caroline Jones says

Caroline Jones
Image caption Caroline Jones

UKIP's Welsh MEP post may be better left unfilled as a result of Brexit, party AM Caroline Jones has said.

Ms Jones told BBC Radio Wales she did not want to give up being an AM to go to Brussels to replace Nathan Gill, UKIP Wales leader.

Mr Gill has been told by the UKIP assembly group and the UKIP party chairman Steve Crowther to stop "double-jobbing" as an AM and MEP.

Mr Gill said those making such calls were doing it out of "malice".

"We've got Brexit now and I think that, possibly, it may be best to leave that role unfilled," Ms Jones told the Good Morning Wales programme.

"I'm surprised I've not been formally asked what I'd like to do."

Image caption Caroline Jones said David Rowlands is settling into his role as an AM for South Wales East

Ms Jones, the South Wales West AM, is one of two people who could take up the role of UKIP Wales MEP if Mr Gill made it vacant - the other being South Wales East AM David Rowlands.

She would, in theory, have first refusal over Mr Rowlands as she was third in the 2014 UKIP European Parliament election list and Mr Rowlands was fourth. The number two candidate, James Cole, is no longer in the party.

Asked if she would give up her position as AM to become an MEP, she said: "No I wouldn't. I'm not interested. Since becoming an AM I've thrown myself totally into what I'm elected to do.

"They'd have to ask David Rowlands obviously but neither of us have formally been asked, although David may say 'oh no I'm settling in in his role', and he is actually, he's doing very well.

"Quite frankly I think it's impossible to do two jobs, especially when one is in Brussels and Strasbourg and the other is in the Welsh Assembly. It's a very difficult situation."

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