Wales politics

UKIP Brexit campaigner Sam Gould dies

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Media captionBowel cancer: Sam Gould films message from hospital bed

A Brexit campaigner and UKIP Wales activist who used social media to raise awareness of bowel cancer when he was diagnosed with the disease has died.

Sam Gould was 33 years old.

He had filmed a video within 24 hours of being diagnosed in April warning others not to ignore the symptoms of the illness.

Former UKIP Wales leader Nathan Gill described Mr Gould as "my friend, colleague and possibly the bravest man I've had the pleasure of meeting".

Mr Gould had served as UKIP campaign co-ordinator for the 2016 Welsh Assembly election, when the party won seats in the Senedd for the first time.

The former music promoter was the party's 2015 general election candidate in Caerphilly - when he came second - and assembly candidate there the following year, when he came third.

He was a prominent campaigner for Brexit in the 2016 referendum on EU membership.

Mr Gould, who died on Monday morning, had worked for Mr Gill, a UKIP MEP and independent assembly member.

Image caption UKIP's Sam Gould hugging Leave supporters in Caerphilly after the EU referendum result

"Sam Gould was my friend, colleague and possibly the bravest man I've had the pleasure of meeting," Mr Gill said.

"He was a bundle of energy, enthusiasm and positivity - and all of this was put into his campaigning for the general election in 2015 and then the two campaigns in 2016.

"He truly believed in what he was doing and put everything in, even devising some crazy stunts to get a cheeky news headline."

Mr Gill said Mr Gould's video on bowel cancer was viewed by more than 100,000 people.

"More than anything I will miss his warm and caring nature and our phone calls when we'd speak about nothing in particular yet somehow put the world to rights," Mr Gill said.

'Truly magical'

Alex Phillips, a former head of UKIP's media operation, said she "can't express how devastated I am to lose Sam".

"Boundlessly happy, bouncy, selfless and honest. A truly magical human," she added.

The Bowel Cancer UK charity said it was deeply saddened to learn of Mr Gould's death.

Its chief executive Deborah Alsina said: "He was an inspiration to us when he was dealing with the tough reality of his own situation.

"A campaigner until the end his support has meant so much to us all at the charity.

"Our thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time."

Mr Gould is survived by his wife, Caroline, and three children aged five, four and one.