UKIP apology to Labour AM over member's 'tacky' video

By David Deans
BBC News

  • Published
Gareth BennettImage source, Youtube/Gareth Bennett
Image caption,
Gareth Bennett has refused to apologise for the YouTube clip

Three UKIP AMs - including their leader - have said sorry for a "tacky" YouTube attack on a Labour politician made by a party colleague.

But the video's creator, AM Gareth Bennett, would not apologise for the clip which criticised Joyce Watson for calling the group "rabid dogs".

The video includes derogatory comments about Ms Watson.

UKIP group leader Caroline Jones said she would have been offended if a similar video had been made about her.

She said she, Michelle Brown and David Rowlands had apologised to Ms Watson, who is Labour AM for Mid and West Wales.

Welsh Labour has been asked to comment.

The trio are the same individuals who backed deposing UKIP assembly leader Neil Hamilton and installing Ms Jones.

Mr Bennett, who represents South Wales Central, said the video row was a "red herring" and accused the three of trying to "bypass party democracy by getting themselves automatically reselected as assembly candidates".

Ms Jones said Mr Bennett should look at the "positive action" going on in UKIP and accept "he now has a new leader".

The clip, published prior to the change of leadership, criticised backbencher Ms Watson's use of the term "rabid dogs" during an assembly debate in May 2017.

Image caption,
Joyce Watson is a Labour AM for Mid and West Wales

The derogatory comments used by Mr Bennett about Ms Watson coincide with an image of her head superimposed over a picture of a barmaid.

Ms Jones said: "I wouldn't expect someone to do a video of me like that, I would be most offended.

"Members of UKIP did feel annoyed at UKIP being called rabid dogs, so that's not on either."

Mr Rowlands said the AMs would have liked to have seen the video's contents, adding: "It was far too personal a video. I just think it was a little tacky, to be quite honest with you, to be doing that sort of thing."