Wales politics

UKIP AM says Nathan Gill's Senedd seat constantly empty

Nathan Gill and Michelle Browne Image copyright Getty Images/UKIP
Image caption Nathan Gill is not committing full-time to the interests of people in north Wales, Michelle Brown claims

A UKIP colleague of Nathan Gill has criticised the party's Welsh leader's record of participation in the Senedd.

Michelle Brown, a North Wales AM, said the Wales MEP's assembly seat was "constantly" empty.

Assembly records show that - other than the vote for first minister - Mr Gill has taken part in one vote in the Senedd since his election in May.

A source close to Mr Gill said he contributes fully as an AM, pointing to his constituency work.

'Performance'

Ms Brown, one of five UKIP AMs who have demanded Mr Gill resign from one of his roles, told BBC Radio Wales: "You can't physically do both jobs at the same time.

"The evidence of that can be seen in Nathan's performance in the assembly," she said, claiming: "There's constantly an empty seat in the chamber."

"The people of North Wales voted for UKIP in the expectation they would be getting a full time AM who would commit full-time to their interests," she added.

Ms Brown claimed that since the referendum Mr Gill had "attended one session, which he left half way through".

Assembly records on the institution's website show that Mr Gill has spoken on five occasions in the chamber since elected - making speeches or asking questions - and voted just once, with the exception of the initial roll call for first minister.

The same site, which does not detail attendance, shows Ms Brown spoke seven times and has voted 29 times.

Image copyright Philip Halling/Geograph

The source close to Mr Gill said: "The difference in attendance and speaking time between Michelle Brown and Nathan Gill is marginal.

"He has contributed fully as an AM," the source said, adding: "Some AMs choose to vote on every little technicality while others prioritise constituency work and public engagement."

In response to the counterclaim, Ms Brown said: "Not voting in the Senedd is denying a voice to those that put their faith in you.

"His voting record shows that my concern is not based on any hidden agenda, as his fans try to make out, but on hard facts."

UKIP members in Wales are set to vote on whether their leader should be allowed to continue in his two elected roles.

If they vote that he cannot, he will have to either quit one or face expulsion from the party.

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