Wales politics

Unison excludes UKIP AM Caroline Jones from local debate

Caroline Jones
Image caption Caroline Jones says the decision "flies in the face of democracy"

A UKIP AM has said she has been "obstructed" from representing her constituents after a union told her she could not take part in a Question Time-style event it is organising.

Unison is holding the debate at Neath Port Talbot council chambers on 8 September.

All South Wales West region AMs were invited but Caroline Jones was told later her invitation was an error.

Unison said including a UKIP politician would be against its members' wishes.

"It is my belief that by not being allowed to attend these meetings, Unison have obstructed an AM from representing the constituents by whom she was elected," Ms Jones said.

"This decision flies in the face of democracy."

UKIP said more than 130,000 people had voted for the party in the 2016 assembly election, and the party's views should be heard.

'Inappropriate'

Mark Fisher, from Unison's Neath Port Talbot branch said: "This is a local Unison branch organised and run event.

"Politicians attending recognise severe UK government spending cuts have damaged Neath Port Talbot communities and the urgent need to end austerity.

"This meeting is to explore the importance of investment in public services and how best to promote fairer funding for Wales.

"As Neath Port Talbot branch has openly and publicly campaigned against UKIP policies and principles, it would be inappropriate and against our members wishes for UKIP to be included in this event."

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