UKIP’s new Welsh leader ‘stands by’ anti-transgender rant that got him suspended

A voter wears a UK Independence Party (UKIP) rosette as he stands outside a polling station in Brighton, southern England on May 7, 2015, as Britain holds a general election. Polls opened Thursday in Britain's closest general election for decades with voters set to decide between the Conservatives of Prime Minister David Cameron, Ed Miliband's Labour and a host of smaller parties. AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

UKIP’s new Welsh Assembly leader has doubled down on an anti-transgender rant that he was suspended for.

Gareth Bennett was this month elected the new leader of the pro-Brexit UK Independence Party in Wales.

Prior to his election, Bennett was most famous for a speech he gave in the Welsh Assembly in December 2017 attacking “nutty” transgender people.

Gareth Bennett AM

Bennett was suspended from the chamber over his comments, insisting there must be “limits” to rights for minority groups and describing transgender equality as a “deviation from the norm” that could lead to a “total implosion” of society.

He was allowed back into the chamber in January 2018 after giving a half-hearted ‘apology’, but this week Bennett suggested he stands by his remarks entirely.

In an interview with WalesOnline, he said: “Sometimes I say things that I think are common sense and that lots of people say and believe and yet you go into the Welsh Assembly and suddenly all these people are up in arms and I think ‘Oh, I forgot, they’re not living in the real world, I’ve got to say different things in here’.”

Bennett, who was elected 269 people, told the outlet that he was “projecting the majority opinion of people in Britain” and insisted: “I broadly stand by the points that I made at the time.”

The leader later stormed out of the interview when reporter Ruth Mosalski continued to push him about his views on race and migration.

Gareth Bennett AM

He reportedly snapped: “You are a useless interviewer, you come in here with preconceived opinions and ideas, you have no ability to engage with the argument.”

Speaking in December 2017, he had claimed: “We can’t go on as a society endlessly acceding to the demands of minorities.

“At some point, we have to recognise that granting more rights to a particular minority group will negatively impact on the rights of the majority of people in our society as a whole.

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