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Senedd musical chairs continues as Brexit Party members switch allegiance again

16 Oct 2020 2 minute read
Mark Reckless. Picture by the National Assembly (CC BY 2.0)

Four former members of the Brexit Party in the Welsh Parliament have switched parties for the third time.

Mark Reckless, Caroline Jones, David Rowlands and Mandy Jones, all elected to represent UKIP in 2016, have now held six different political allegiances.

They have now at various times thrown their weight behind UKIP, the Conservatives, Brexit Party, Abolish the Assembly and the new Independent Alliance for Reform.

It was revealed today that Mark Reckless, formerly the Leader of the Brexit Party, would leave to join the Abolish the Assembly party alongside former UKIP colleague Gareth Bennett.

Meanwhile, Caroline Jones, David Rowlands and Mandy Jones have joined a new Independent Alliance for Reform which will become the fourth-largest group at the Welsh Parliament.

How the UKIP members elected in 2016 have switched parties:

Flowchart by Guto Aaron, @GutoA



The Independent Alliance for Reform group have said that they will focus on reforming devolution, rather than its abolition.

Caroline Jones, named as the new group’s leader, said it would be “committed to engaging with voters in Wales ahead of potential elections next year; to be their voice in deciding how devolution in Wales could work better for the people of our country”.

“This won’t be a group offering more of the same, nor will we be obsessed with just scrapping everything,” she said.

“This will be a group focused on the thing our politics needs most, reform”.

It means that there will be five devo-sceptic parties competing at the next Senedd election in May – the Conservatives, UKIP, the Brexit Party, Abolish the Assembly, and the Independent Alliance.

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