Wales Election 2016

Welsh election: UKIP's Farage backs 'terrific' Gill

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Media captionNigel Farage claims other parties are more split than UKIP

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has backed the party's "terrific" Welsh leader Nathan Gill on a campaign visit to Powys.

Some members called for Mr Gill to step down following a row over candidate selection for the assembly election.

Speaking in Welshpool, Mr Farage said it was he who chose UKIP's leader in Wales, and Mr Gill had "never, ever, let me down".

He also said the debate over Europe would help UKIP as it aimed to get its first ever AMs elected in May.

"You can't really get away from the fact there is a referendum going on at the same time and I suspect that will possibly help our vote," he said.

"The argument that if you put UKIP AMs into Cardiff that they will speak up unequivocally for Brexit is potentially a piece of luck of timing for us."

'Count my blessings'

On the subject of leadership of the party in Wales, Mr Farage said questions about Mr Gill's future were "ridiculous".

"The one power I do have as party leader is to appoint who the leader is [in Wales]," he said.

"I have worked with Nathan Gill over a period of years and he's been terrific, he's never, ever, let me down," he said.

"He's as honest as the day is long and, in the leaders' debates that have been taking place in Wales, he's performed very creditably."

As for the row over candidate selection, Mr Farage said: "It could have been smoother, it could have been easier, we've got to where we are and it's time people accepted it."

He added that when he saw the Tories split over Europe and Labour MPs unhappy with leader Jeremy Corbyn, "I count my blessings".

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