POLITICS is never far from the spotlight at the moment. Especially today in Newport it seems, with UKIP holding their conference at the newly opened ICC Wales and the Brexit Party holding a rally at The Neon.

South Wales Argus: Brexit Party rally at The NeonBrexit Party rally at The Neon

The latter was a far more professional affair and, looking at the size of the crowd - some 500 people, at £25 a pop - it was clear that UKIP's loss was the Brexit Party's gain.

A sea of sky-blue paraphernalia, available to purchase in the foyer, packed the room. Some even brought the whole family although looking at the overall crowd it was hard to find many young faces.


A copy of ‘The Brexiteer’ – the party’s own publication – was on every seat and “free to all democrats”.

South Wales Argus: Richard Tice illustrates the 'EU prison' Britain could find itself inRichard Tice illustrates the 'EU prison' Britain could find itself in

The rally marked the seventh stop on the party’s We Are Ready tour and began with a derisory look at the current government.

Richard Tice took to the stage to a standing ovation – a theme which would prove prevalent – and launched straight into a spiel easily adaptable to each stop on the tour.

“We have to be ready for whatever these clowns in Westminster throw at us,” he said, drawing boos and cheers in equal measure.

“We’re on the right side, the side of democracy.”

South Wales Argus: Ann Widdecombe speaks at the Brexit Party rallyAnn Widdecombe speaks at the Brexit Party rally

Next up was one-time Tory and Strictly also-ran Ann Widdecombe – flanked by security guards and taking the stage to unplaceable 80s soft rock.

“Has there ever been, since the civil war, a government so incompetent,” she rhetorically asked, drawing answers, nonetheless.

Making sure she could be heard in all corners of the city she continued: “A deal is not leaving, that is merely moving from prison to house arrest.”

This point was emphasized in an am-dram fashion by Mr Tice encasing himself in an EU-branded cell and brandishing a pair of handcuffs he happened to have with him.

“We didn’t even know it was necessary to have a deal, just to be able to leave,” continued Mrs Widdecombe.

Continued reference was made to the ‘battle for freedom and democracy’ that was the Second World War. “How would that generation have voted in 2016?” the crowd were asked.

Then came the main event.

“We’ve put fear in the hearts of the MPs in Wales,” said Nigel Farage, wasting no time.

“I can’t think of a place in the UK less represented that Wales. Labour is the party of Islington and the North London Intelligentsia, not Islwyn.”

South Wales Argus: Nigel Farage chats with The Argus' Dan BarnesNigel Farage chats with The Argus' Dan Barnes

He went on to call out several political figures for their respective failings including: “that ghastly little man called Bercow” and “that perfectly vile little pipsqueak of a Prime Minister in Luxembourg”.

Mr Farage called on his supporters to abandon the use of the term No-Deal Brexit in favour of what he described as the “more positive” Clean-Break Brexit.

“Once Brexit is done, we will take the knife to the pen pushers in Whitehall,” he finished.

South Wales Argus:

A small group of opposition protesters had gathered in the square outside before the rally with a banner reading “Honks against racism”. Passing motorists were generally supportive. However, the group did draw the ire of some of the waiting Brexit Party rally attendees.