Ukip's Neil Hamilton brands two female politicians 'concubines' in Senedd


Ukip's Welsh Assembly leader Neil Hamilton has caused outrage on just his second Senedd session after branding two female politicians "concubines".

Former Conservative MP Mr Hamilton made the remarks to the Liberal Democrats' Kirsty Williams and Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood moments after the deadlock over Carwyn Jones' re-appointment as First Minister was broken.

Last week Ms Williams had backed Mr Jones' nomination for the post, while on Wednesday Plaid withdrew Ms Wood's name as a rival candidate.

Mr Hamilton sparked uproar after claiming both politicians had "betrayed the interests" of voters, before adding: "I'm afraid these two ladies have made themselves political concubines in Carwyn's harem. What a gruesome concept that will be."

The remarks prompted criticism of the one-time reality TV star, with Ms Williams expressing shock at "his blatant sexist language".

Mr Hamilton's election to the Welsh Assembly ended his 19 years in the political wilderness after losing his House of Commons seat in 1997.

However, the 67-year-old has already caused a stir less than a month into his comeback - even coming in for criticism from Ukip leader Nigel Farage.

Earlier this month, Mr Farage blasted his own party's decision to appoint Mr Hamilton its leader in the Assembly and fears it could send Ukip backwards.

Ahead of his debut, Mr Hamilton had vowed to shake up the Senedd - which he had accused of being too cosy.

And he told AMs on Wednesday: "Leanne Wood has spoken many times of the need for a new dawn in Welsh politics and indeed that was possible a few days ago as we thought that the opposition parties, taken together, might be able to force a new deal. But sadly that didn't prove to be the case.

"Instead of the new dawn, we have now got a total eclipse, because instead of having decisions made in full transparency, we've got a series of shadowy committees which will come together in dodgy deals behind the scenes."

Plaid leader Ms Wood balked at the Ukip chief's comments, later tweeting: "There's no place for sexism in our National Assembly... be warned."

His comments also prompted criticism on social media - with some users on Twitter calling his comments "astonishing".

The sexism row looked to have overshadowed the re-election of Mr Jones as First Minister.

Last week, his party was given a bloody nose by rivals after they blocked his nomination for the post.

However, he resumed office after Plaid withdrew Ms Wood's name from a second vote.

Former barrister-turned-politician Mr Jones, who has been First Minister since 2009, told AMs that his party would be forming a minority government and outlined his plans for his next 100 days in office.

The 49-year-old also revealed that his administration would try to work with Plaid on policy areas they agree on - something which could prove vital given Labour's lack of an overall majority.

However, Ms Wood warned Mr Jones her party would be prepared to rebel again if Labour tried to "bully" Plaid.

She said: "The vote happened because they refused to delay proceedings so that mindful talks could take place (between us and them).

"Labour's smears against us last week will not be forgotten."

And after accusing Labour of being arrogant and complacent, she added: "I am not sorry... and I will do it again."

Mr Jones later promised his government would proceed with "caution and humility".

He added: "We have no doubt about the responsibilities on us, and the responsibility upon me in particular, to work with others, where we can, for the good of our people.

"No one party has a monopoly on good ideas, and I want this Assembly to be more open and more confident than the last."

In outlining his government's priorities, he said there would be "a relentless focus" on helping with the steel industry crisis, backing the Remain vote in the upcoming EU referendum as well as bringing forward a new Public Health Wales Bill - the latter of which was defeated during the last Assembly.

Mr Jones also gave details about the agreement struck with Plaid - which paved the way for him to retake the role of First Minister - including on ways to improve childcare provision and plans to recruit more GPs.

Addressing the events of the past week, he added: "We have given the media, the Welsh historians and the commentariat plenty of what they want - theatre and intrigue.

"It is time now to give the Welsh people what they want and expect. Good governance, delivery and respect."