A UKIP AM, who was banned from speaking in the Senedd following comments regarding transgender people has apologised.

South Wales Central’s Gareth Bennett caused an uproar last month when he claimed society would “completely implode” as a result of concessions to what he called “deviation from the norm”.

Presiding officer Elin Jones banned Mr Bennett from speaking in the Assembly until he apologised, calling his comments “particularly hateful to the transgender community”.

Although the Ukip AM initially refused to apologise, addressing Ms Jones in the Senedd this week he said: “I'm sorry that people took offence at what I said and I wish to make it clear that I respect your authority as chair.

“I do, however, stand by the views I expressed about the proposed changes to the gender recognition bill.”

Accepting his apology, Ms Jones replied: “You may be assured that I'll always uphold the right of any member in this chamber to air views that are unpalatable to other members and to others as well.

“But, all members need to do so using language that is both parliamentary and non-discriminatory at all times.”

It is understood Mr Bennett’s ban on speaking has been lifted following his apology.