UKIP's Mandy Jones has been officially returned as the new AM for North Wales following yesterday's resignation of Nathan Gill.

Former Ukip Wales leader Mr Gill announced he was stepping down from the Assembly yesterday to focus on his duties as an MEP.

Although he was elected as a Ukip AM in May last year, he resigned from the party two months later after having been ousted from the role of leader of the Assembly group by former Conservative MP Neil Hamilton. He sat as an Independent AM until his resignation yesterday.

As Mr Gill was elected as a regional member for North Wales, his resignation means he is automatically replaced by the next candidate on the Ukip regional list, Mandy Jones.

This takes the number of Ukip AMs in the Assembly back to six. Seven were elected in May last year, but Mr Gill and and South Wales East AM Mark Reckless later left the party, reducing the group's numbers to five.

In a statement a Welsh Assembly spokesman said: "Mandy Jones has been returned as an AM for the North Wales region following the resignation of Nathan Gill.

"The llywydd (presiding officer) of the National Assembly for Wales, Elin Jones AM, has been informed by the returning officer for the North Wales region.

"When a regional Assembly seat becomes vacant, the llywydd informs the regional returning Officer for the relevant region.

"Where the seat was vacated by a Member who was elected at an Assembly general election from a list of candidates submitted by a political party, the regional returning officer is required to contact the next candidate on the list submitted at the time of the general election by that political party.

"Once the regional returning officer has established that the person is able and willing to serve, the regional returning officer informs the llywydd of the name of the person.

"When the llywydd receives notification of the name, that person becomes an AM. However, he or she cannot undertake the work of an AM until the oath has been taken.

"The regional returning officer informed the llywydd on December 27 2017 that Mandy Jones is able and willing to serve and was therefore returned as an AM for the North Wales region on that day.

"Arrangements are being made for the new AM for the North Wales region to take to oath."