FORMER Senedd Member and Conservative minister Neil Hamilton has been confirmed as leader of the UK Independence Party, the party has said.

Mr Hamilton, 72, was elected as Ukip MS - then AM - for Mid and West Wales in 2016, and served as the party's leader in the Senedd from his election until May 2018, when he was ousted.

He ran in the Newport West by-election in April 2019 following the death of former MP Paul Flynn, coming third with 8.6 per cent of the vote. He also stood for Islwyn in this year's Senedd Election, coming sixth, with 2.1 per cent of the vote.

Mr Hamilton has served as the party’s acting leader since the suspension last year of its previous leader, Freddy Vachha.

The party split in 2019 when former leader Nigel Farage formed the Brexit Party – since renamed Reform UK – taking many of its former members and supporters with him.

Prior to joining Ukip in 2011, Mr Hamilton was best-known as a central figure in the cash-for-questions scandal which engulfed Sir John Major’s Tory government in the 1990s.