Wales politics

UKIP live to fight another day, says Neil Hamilton

Neil Hamilton
Image caption Neil Hamilton said he would continue as a UKIP politician, and he was "indestructible"

UKIP will "live to fight another day" despite poor local election results, the party's leader in the Welsh Assembly, Neil Hamilton, has insisted.

UKIP failed to win any seats in Wales, whilst in England it lost 145 councillors and only got one elected.

Neil Hamilton said UKIP voters who had returned to the Tories would come back because of immigration concerns.

He told BBC Wales his party "started to slide down a cliff" when the prime minister called the general election.

Speaking on Radio Wales' Good Morning Wales programme, Mr Hamilton said: "It's certainly a very disappointing result but I've been in politics a very long time, I've seen landslides come and go and come back again and UKIP will live to fight another day.

"It's quite clear looking at the opinion polls over the last few weeks that as soon as Theresa May called a general election we started to slide down a cliff, because this has become a bit of a referendum in itself on the Brexit process I think."

'Former eminence'

UKIP won no council seats in Wales, despite fielding 80 candidates.

In England all 145 of the party's councillors defending seats lost, but UKIP did take a seat from Labour in Lancashire.

Mr Hamilton said he was sure UKIP would "revive to its former eminence" but "we may have to wait a while".

"A lot of people who had previously been Conservatives and voted for UKIP in order to get the referendum have now gone back to the Conservatives," he said.

"But I believe that will be only temporary because a lot of people voted for the referendum for control of our borders and I don't think Theresa May will want to introduce the kind of immigration controls that these people wanted to see."

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