THE appointment of Ukip Wales leader and former Conservative MP Neil Hamilton to the organisation responsible for running the Welsh Assembly has been blocked.

Each party in the Assembly is entitled to appoint a member to the Assembly Commission.

And on Wednesday AMs were presented with a motion for Mr Hamilton, to replace South Wales West’s Caroline Jones, who ousted him as leader of the party’s Assembly group, to the role.

But the motion was blocked by 31 votes to 17, with three abstentions, after North Wales AM Mandy Jones – who was herself elected on a Ukip ticket – expressed concerns around Mr Hamilton refusing to back a new dignity and respect policy.

Although Mandy Jones, who was second on Ukip’s North Wales regional list in 2016, was automatically elected to the Assembly in December after the resignation of Nathan Gill, she left the party’s Assembly group before even appearing in the Senedd for the first time following a row around her staff.

She said: “There are many reasons why I would object to Neil Hamilton becoming a commissioner.

“However, the reason I wish to put on record is that, on May 16, Neil Hamilton abstained on the vote in support of the emerging dignity and respect policy.

“The main crux of his argument appeared to be that it should only apply part of the time.

“Becoming an Assembly Member is an honour, and it should be respected as such. It is not a part-time job.”

She added: “I do not see how his position is compatible with the role of Assembly commissioner.”

Speaking before his appointment was blocked, Mr Hamilton said he did not back the policy as he felt “all people in public life should be entitled to a private life”, referring to North Wales AM Michelle Brown’s one-week suspension from the Assembly last month after she was recorded using a racist term to refer to Labour MP Chuka Umunna.

He added, although he had not voted for the respect and dignity policy, he respected that it had been approved by a vote in the Assembly and would uphold it.

“If the Assembly approves this appointment this afternoon, I will perform the obligations of a commissioner to the best of my ability, with the kind of professionalness, honesty and integrity, which I think I have displayed in the two years that I have been here,” he said.

This leaves Ukip without a representative on the Assembly Commission.