GWENT AM Mark Reckless has left the Welsh Assembly’s Conservative group in protest over the party's handling of Brexit.

The South Wales East AM was elected as a Ukip AM in May 2016, but left the party in April 2017 to join the Assembly’s Conservative group, saying the party had “achieved our joint aim, a successful referendum to leave the EU”.

Announcing the news on Twitter this morning he said:

Reacting to the news, Assembly Conservative group leader Paul Davies said: “I’d like to thank Mark for his valuable contribution as a part of the Welsh Conservative group in the Assembly over the last two years and his ability to thoroughly challenge the record of this failing Welsh Labour Government.

“Mark worked with the Welsh Conservative group because of our continued unity in the Welsh Assembly, our commitment to delivering Brexit and our focus on tackling this failing Welsh Labour Government who have taken the people of Wales for granted over the last 20 years.

“As the official opposition in the Assembly we will continue to hold the Welsh Labour Government to account. I appreciate there are strong views on Brexit but our commitment is clear – Wales and the rest of the United Kingdom must leave the European Union.”

Although Mr Reckless had been part of the Assembly Conservative group since April 2017, he did not re-join the party, which he had previously left to join Ukip in September 2014, triggering a by-election in Rochester and Strood, where he was an MP at the time.

Although he won the November 2014 by-election, he lost his seat in the May 2015 General Election.

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