The 23 candidates living outside Wales standing in the Senedd election – including ones from Scotland and the Isle of Man
Parties opposed to lockdown or critical of devolution are fielding the highest number of candidates who live outside Wales in the Senedd elections, research by Nation.Cymru has found.
Some 23 people who currently live outside the country are standing in next month’s elections, including those living just on the other side of the border and candidates with addresses as far away as Scotland and the Isle of Man.
Five of that number are standing for the Freedom Alliance which is running on a “no lockdowns” platform, while four are representing Nigel Farage’s Reform UK which is also campaigning against further confinement.
Reform UK doesn’t officially support scrapping the Senedd but its leader in Wales, Nathan Gill, has said: “Devolution complicates everything and feeds the bureaucrats: bring back the ‘United Kingdom’.”
The rebranded Brexit party is fielding the candidate living furthest from Wales – their representative in Blaenau Gwent, who is also standing on the south Wales east list, lives in Edinburgh.
Three of Reform’s five candidates for the south Wales east region are listed as living outside Wales.
The Conservatives, UKIP and pro-independence Gwlad party are each fielding three candidates whose home address is outside Wales. Abolish the Welsh Assembly have two such candidates, while the Liberal Democrats and Trade Union and Socialist Coalition have one each.
UKIP’s number include Neil Hamilton, who continues to live in a £1.4 million manor house in Wiltshire despite being elected to the Senedd in 2016 and becoming his party’s leader in Wales.
Setting out his party’s offer in an interview with Radio Wales on Sunday, Hamilton said: “UKIP had its founding principle in getting out of the European Union and now we’ve done that we can concentrate on reintegrating the United Kingdom… Our slogan in this election is ‘scrap the Senedd’.”
Former UKIP MS Michelle Brown, who lives in Staffordshire, is also standing as an independent for the north Wales region.
Perhaps more surprisingly, candidates for the centre-right Welsh nationalists Gwlad include those living on the Isle of Man and the Old Bexley and Sidcup constituency near London.
The number of Conservative candidates living outside Wales has fallen sharply compared to the Westminster election, when it represented a third of their 40 candidates, but the party has been accused of parachuting in at least one candidate.
Donna Gavin, who is standing for the Tories in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, grew up in London and lives in Gloucestershire. She told WalesOnline that her only link with Wales was army training in the Brecon Beacons and travelling over the border to do some mountain biking.
Labour’s Alun Davies said at the time that she was a “Tory looking to cut her teeth somewhere”, while Plaid Cymru’s Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “Great army career and all… but no mention of why on earth she’d want to be in the Welsh Parliament. No interest in future of Wales.”
North Wales and South East Wales are the regions with the highest number of candidates living outside Wales with seven each. No data was available for the mid and west Wales region.