“It is with both sadness and relief that I am choosing to step down from my position as Assembly Member for North Wales.

“I took this decision a long time ago, based on principle, not peer pressure. I consulted with the next candidate on the list who at the time asked whether I would delay my resignation to give her more time to prepare. I agreed that this was absolutely the right thing to do. Mandy Jones is now eager and ready to take over the role, and I am confident that I am leaving the post to someone who will do an excellent job for the people of North Wales.

“I am proud to have led UKIP to be the first party in history to break into the Welsh Assembly since its establishment winning seven seats in 2016 and to have been declared the party’s first ever Assembly Member.

“With the country now in the process of leaving the European Union, it is clear that the most pressing issue facing Wales is Brexit. With talks about to move on to the secondary stage, the institutions of the European Union will become increasingly involved in debating and advising on progress. I feel it is right that I concentrate on serving my term as an MEP and do my bit in helping to get the best deal for the country. As the only Eurosceptic MP in Wales, I have a duty to give the majority of voters who backed ‘Leave’ in Wales the representation that they deserve and need in Brussels.

“This is not, as some people have baselessly stated, a decision that benefits me financially. Quite the opposite. I am leaving job security for the next three and a half years to commit myself to my political beliefs for one final but crucial year in the European Parliament.

“Serving in both Parliaments has given me invaluable insight but also revealed how deep the disconnect is between UK politicians sitting in different parliaments. If we share information and work more closely together, we can get the best deal for our country. I pledge to maintain an open door to all politicians in Wales, whichever body they are elected to, to consult me and collaborate with me in my role as an MEP as we move to the next critical stage of negotiations.”