A talk, organised by the Welsh branch of the United Kingdom Independence Party and due to be hosted by Gareth Bennett, had to be cancelled after only 3 audience members turned up to the event last night.
The talk was held at the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University, and would cover the controversial topic of abolishing the Welsh Assembly in favour of returning to a centralised government.
The student campaign group ‘Yes Cymru Myfyrwyr”, who campaigns for a more independent Wales from Westminster, filmed Garreth Bennett leaving shortly after entering the University’s Politics building without making his planned speech.
Gareth Bennett, who has been a member of the Welsh Assembly representing UKIP since 2016, was reportedly banned from the Welsh Assembly last year after making allegedly trans-phobic comments. Bennett claimed that implementing a legal process to change an individuals legal gender would cause society to “implode”. This ban was later lifted after the politician made a partial apology to the Assembly’s Presiding Officer.
Bennett also garnered controversy in early 2018, when he claimed nearly £10,000 in expenses to set up an office which was never opened.
Bennett currently stands as UKIP’s lead representative in the Welsh Assembly, and won the leadership contest on an anti-devolution platform.
However, a report from the BBC suggested that only 13% of Welsh respondents wanted to Abolish the assembly, and only 3% wanted an Assembly with powers centralised back to Westminster. This was compared to 46% of respondents who wished for a National Assembly with greater powers.