UKIP AM Gareth Bennett announced today that he is throwing his hat in the ring for the UKIP Wales leadership election.
Bennett, 49, said that his key themes would be campaigning for the abolition of the Welsh Assembly, and rowing back against the increasing cost of the Welsh language provisions.
“I hope that this election will be won on Policies. There are two factors at play here. One, I am the only candidate with radical policies. The others are just offering things that are little different from the mainstream parties.
“Two, UKIP members will only see my policies adopted if I win this leadership election. So it’s up to the members – do they want something different, or do they want us to be just the same as everyone else?”
The outspoken AM, who was banned from the Assembly in December after speaking out against transgender rights, vowed to carry on being controversial in support of Majority Rights.
“In the UK, the big issue apart from Brexit is probably Free Speech versus Political Correctness. People like me have to stand up for free speech, or we will end up living in a Police State.
“In Wales, the people now need to be able to have their say on whether or not they think that the Welsh Assembly serves a useful purpose. The last referendum, in 2011, was a complete con trick, as people who did not support the existence of the Assembly had no option to vote for. We now need to have a meaningful referendum on this. In May 2024, the Assembly will have been in existence for 25 years – maybe that is a good time to consult the people of Wales as to whether it has worked.”
On the Welsh Language, Bennett said, “We have to review whether throwing millions of pounds of taxpayers money at a random target of achieving 1 million Welsh speakers is actually going to achieve anything. We should protect the Welsh Language in its heartlands in the Western areas. The Welsh Government’s proposed National Development Framework doesn’t even acknowledge that West Wales is a separate and distinct region.
“We also need to tackle the problem of parents who are being forced to send their kids to Welsh speaking schools. This is already happening in some parts of Wales. There has to be parental choice, not compulsion.
“Finally, we have to put an end to any idea that people like security guards and catering staff are going to be discriminated against in the job market because they don’t speak Welsh. It’s absurd to ask for Welsh for these kind of jobs outside of West Wales. This form of job discrimination must end. Effectively, the Welsh Government is discriminating against at least 80% of its own population.”