Wales politics

UKIP promises to get rid of Welsh Assembly Members

The UK Independence Party (UKIP) has launched its campaign for May's assembly election with a promise to get rid of AMs and make MPs do their work.

The party says it is confident of securing representation in the Welsh Assembly for the first time.

It has had one of the four Wales MEPs since 2009, and claims opinion polls are turning in its favour.

But although UKIP argues Wales is an over-governed country, it says it does not want to abolish the assembly.

Instead it argues it should be "renewed" in what it says would be a far less costly form.

Kevin Mahoney, candidate for the party in the South Wales Central region, claimed AMs with a dual mandate either in local government or in Westminster "have conceded it's a part-time job."

UKIP would therefore remove what it calls "overpaid, underemployed" AMs and says Welsh MPs could cover a month of work currently done by AMs in just one week and that they should meet in Wales while doing so.

UKIP would also ban future onshore wind farms and dismantle existing ones, promoting in its place the use of nuclear energy.

Mr Mahoney claimed nuclear was the "only" viable source of energy available.

"Most people, including myself, are furious that we have no alternative but nuclear power," he said.

"Wind farms don't work. What we should have been doing is putting billions of pounds of resources into alternative options."

'Reduce immigration'

Also in the manifesto is the long-term aim to remove the UK from the European Union and reduce immigration by securing Britain's borders.

These, like some of its other policies, would require changes in the law which cannot be delivered from Cardiff.

Within Wales, the party pledges to introduce elections to local health boards and keep open all primary schools with at least 20 pupils.

UKIP's leader Nigel Farage was confident of success in the coming elections.

"My last political visit [to Wales] was in the run-up to the European election in 2009.

"I remember great scepticism within the media on UKIP's prospects - we managed to confound those expectations not only in Wales but in the entire UK, coming second in Britain, a remarkable achievement."

Mr Farage claimed to "understand" the scepticism in 2009, given that the opinion polls were unfavourable towards his party at the time.

But the situation was different now, he said.

"I can say with hand on heart that we will get people selected on 5 May - the question is just how many."

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