The Brexit party worked to cement its position in the future of British political life Wednesday when it revealed plans to create a group of members in the devolved regional parliament that governs Wales.
The new group consists of four members, two former UKIP Assembly Members (AMs), a former Conservative AM and a former independent AM.
Mark Reckless, who was a former UKIP and Conservative Member of Parliament has been chosen as their leader. Other members are Mandy Jones, a former UKIP member who sat as an Independent in the Welsh Assembly, Caroline Jones, who was briefly UKIP Assembly leader in 2018, and David Rowlands who was also a former UKIP AM.
Brexit Leader Farage Warns Anger at Establishment Betrayal Putting People Off Voting https://t.co/h9jYRIT5Qa
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 14, 2019
Speaking of his defection, new Brexit Party Assembly leader Mr Reckless said: “Brexit is being blocked and the Brexit Party group in the Welsh assembly from today will be supporting Nigel Farage, supporting the Brexit Party in everything that they are doing to protect our democracy and to ensure that Brexit is delivered.”
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said: “the leavers in Wales are all coming back together again, no more divided tribe.”
The four AMs are said to have met with Mr Farage at a recent Brexit Party rally in Newport and decided on the mass defections to the party.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 12, 2019
UKIP will suffer from the defections as their reductions to just two elected members means they will no longer be classified as a formal group. The party will lose access to the considerable resources allocated to official groups, including staff and budgets.
The Assembly Member switches now gives the Brexit Party their first elected officials in the UK’s regional assemblies, progress they will hope to build upon in next week’s European elections. The Brexit Party enter the national vote as frontrunners in the polls, with up to a third of voters reportedly planning to back the party.