Two Brexit Party Senedd Members representing South Wales East have joined two new groups in the Senedd
Mark Reckless MS has left the Brexit Party to joined the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party, while David Rowlands MS has joined the newly-formed Independent Alliance for Reform, but remains a member of the Brexit Party.
Mr Reckless, a former Conservative Member of Parliament, was first elected to the Senedd as a UKIP member, before rejoining the Conservatives in 2017.
In 2019, Mr Reckless left to join the Brexit Party, becoming its leader in the Senedd, before switching allegiances once again to join the Abolish party.
Richard Suchorzewski, leader of the Abolish party, said Mr Reckless had given the Senedd “the benefit of the doubt” but added: “One can, however, only swim against the tide for so long, and Mark now appreciates that no matter how one seeks to reform the institution, it will never serve the best interests of the people of Wales.”
Meanwhile, Mr Rowlands MS has become one of of three members to join the Independent Alliance for Reform.
Mr Rowlands represented UKIP when he was first elected to the Senedd in 2016, but joined the Brexit Party, alongside Mr Reckless, in 2019.
Unlike the Abolish party, the Independent Alliance for Reform says it opposes abolishing the Senedd.
Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice welcomed the new party and said: “As with politics in the rest of the UK, Wales is polarised between those who are desperately clinging on to the status quo and those who want to abolish everything and start again. Both options would be bad for democracy in Wales.
“This group has been designed to represent that positive middle ground, where the focus will be on reforming the things that don’t work and improving upon those things that do.”
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What is a regional Senedd Member?
Wales is divided into 40 constituencies for Senedd elections. Each consituency elects one Senedd Member through a first past the post system.
Hefin David represents the Caerphilly constituency, Rhianon Passmore represents Islwyn and Dawn Bowden represents Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney.
Then, Wales is split into five regions, each region being represented by four Senedd Members. This means there are 20 regional Senedd Members, and 60 Senedd Members in total.
The three constituencies within Caerphilly County Borough form part of the South Wales East region.
Regional members are elected using a proportional representation system, where members are selected from a list of candidates submitted by each party.
Plaid Cymru’s Delyth Jewell and Welsh Conservative Laura Anne Jones also represent South Wales East.
An earlier version of this article stated David Rowlands MS had left the Brexit Party. This is not the case and the article has been amended.
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