NEIL Hamilton has been ousted as leader of Ukip’s Welsh Assembly group.

The former Conservative MP was made leader of the group in a shock vote following May 2016’s Assembly Election, despite many assuming then-Ukip Wales leader Nathan Gill would be given the role.

And now it has been revealed he has been replaced as leader by South Wales West AM Caroline Jones.

A statement provided to the media said: “In a democratic vote the Ukip group in the Assembly has decided to take the party in the Senedd forward under new leadership.”

Ms Jones said: “We intend to be a cohesive team and all members of the group are welcome to remain.

“As always the group will be focusing on the issues affecting Wales.

“We are part of Ukip as a party and intend to continue to build out membership in Wales and support the people of Wales who elected us.”

Although seven Ukip AMs were elected in May 2016, this number has since been cut to five.

Ex-Conservative MP Mark Reckless was among the group elected in 2016, representing South Wales East, in April last year he left the party to join the Assembly’s Conservative group, although he has not officially re-joined the party he left to join Ukip in 2014.

Nathan Gill was also elected as AM for North Wales, but left the party shortly afterwards and sat as an Independent until he resigned from the Assembly altogether in December last year. He was replaced, by Ukip’s Mandy Jones, who herself left the group just days later and now sits as an Independent AM.