The Newport West by-election on April 4 will be significant for a number of reasons - not least that it will see a new MP elected for the constituency for the first time since 1987. There are an unprecedented 11 candidates standing in the election, and, in the latest in a series of interviews, IAN CRAIG met Richard Suchorzewski of the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party.

THIS year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Welsh Assembly.

For many this was an important step in Wales' self-governance, bringing decisions affecting the people and communities of Wales closer to home. But others have been far less positive, criticising the organisation's size and cost - with many characterising it as little more than a talking shop.

The Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party started up in 2015, and is running in the Newport West by-election - the first time the party has run for a Parliamentary seat.


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Candidate Richard Suchorzewski is running on a single-issue basis, focusing not on many of the big issues many of the other candidates are campaigning on such as the M4 or Brexit, but instead calling solely for the Welsh Assembly which he called "a waste of money" and "an unnecessary tier of politics", to be scrapped.

He said: "You’ve got town councillors, community councillors MPs, MEPs, AMs - do we really need all of those tiers?

"I would argue not - you’ve got MPs and you could use those to argue the issues in Wales. I've never really believed AMs were necessary, and now they're looking to increase that number. When I heard that I thought enough's enough and joined the party."

Mr Suchorzewski, who is also the party's chairman, said he would like to see many of the powers currently devolved to Cardiff Bay instead handed to councils.

"We've got a bureaucracy of 60 AMs, which is costing us, they're saying, £20 million a year just on AMs and their staff, then you’ve got the commission which is looking after everything - that’s £50-60 million a year, and they're looking to increase the 60 to 80 or 90, which is another £13 million a year," he said.

"Ystrad Mynach Hospital was £170 million, the new Cwmbran hospital is £350 million - one term of an AM will give you another hospital.

"And that’s not even counting the money they waste on failed projects.

"I've been in business and not everything I have done has been successful. Sometimes you have to fail in order to be successful.

"But when you're told they’ve spent something in the region of £44 million on the M4 relief road and not one gram of concrete or tarmac has been laid - what's the £44 million been spent on?

"That’s another quarter of a hospital not built, or a school, or 200 nurses over 10 years.

"If people are going to make mistakes, let the MPs make them - you don't need to pay for more politicians to make more mistakes."

Mr Suchorzewski, who previously ran against Nigel Farage for leader of Ukip in 2006, leaving the party after he was defeated, said he was under no illusions that he would not win the seat, but wanted to use the opportunity of the by-election to get the party's message out.

"There's no craving on my part to have a political career," he said. "I am doing this because I want to increase awareness of the party and its aims.

"We've no idea how many votes we would get in this area - we wouldn't expect that many because, let's be truthful, the race is essentially going to be between Tories and Labour, and next would be Ukip and Plaid.

"We are not pretending for one minute we are going to win the seat and represent the party in Westminster.

"What were trying to do is make the public aware of our message."


Age: 55

Originally from: Ystrad Mynach, now lives in Barry.

Education: Lewis Boys School, Pengam, and a master's degree in European Marketing Management from Brunel University.

Professional background: Previously worked in banking in London. Today is a business consultant in Barry.

Political background: Previously a member of Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives, was due to run for the Conservatives in Swansea East in the 1997 General Election but had to step down for personal reasons before the vote. Was also previously the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party in the Vale of Glamorgan. Later joined Ukip, and became the party's chairman. Ran against Nigel Farage for party leadership in 2006, coming second. Then left the party.

Family: Divorced, no children.

Hobbies: Stamp, antique and rare coin collecting. UK and US politics, visiting historical sites, charity work.


- Jonathan Clark, Plaid Cymru

- June Davies, Renew

- Matthew Evans, Conservative

- Neil Hamilton, Ukip

- Ruth Jones, Labour

- Ryan Jones, Lib Dem

- Ian McLean, SDP

- Hugh Nicklin, For Britain

- Richard Suchorzewski, the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party

- Phillip Taylor, Democrats and Veterans Party

- Amelia Womack, Green Party