UKIP’s new Welsh leader ‘stands by’ anti-transgender rant that got him suspended
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.
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.
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.
“We have a perfect example of this with the recent controversies over transgender rights. A Conservative Government at Westminster is proposing some fairly wide-ranging increases to the rights of transgender people.
“This could mean that anyone who wishes to identify as being of a gender different to their physical gender may be able to do so, simply by defining themselves as such.”
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He added: “We are going to have a lot of fun with this over the next few years if we continue to proceed as a society with this kind of minority-obsessed nonsense.
“What we need to do is have a grown-up conversation about the issue of minority rights and accept that there have to be limits to them.
“There is only so much deviation from the norm that any society can take before that society completely implodes. And if we carry on down this road of appeasing the nuttiest elements of the transgender movement, then what we will face as a society, within a very short space of time, is total implosion.”
The UK Independence Party has taken a drastic swing against LGBT rights under national leader Gerard Batten.
Leaders of UKIP’s LGBT group collectively resigned in protest after the party appointed a Families and Children spokesperson who describes LGBT activists as the ‘Gaystapo’ and claims gay parents damage children.