|Ideology||Welsh Parliament abolition|
|Colours|| Dark red|
|Local government in Wales|
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The Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party (Welsh: Plaid Diddymu Cynulliad Cymru), or in Wales, simply Abolish, is a registered single issue political party in Wales. It campaigns for the abolition of the Senedd (Welsh Parliament; Welsh: Senedd Cymru), formerly known as the "National Assembly for Wales", the devolved legislature of Wales. Abolish advocates that devolved powers be returned to the Secretary of State for Wales within the UK Central Government and the Parliament of the United Kingdom at Westminster.
Abolish was first registered with the Electoral Commission in July 2015. It was de-registered in November 2020 because former leader David Bevan failed to renew its registration, but was then re-registered two months later. The party has not had a candidate elected to the Senedd, but it gained two members in 2019 and 2020 through defections from the UK Independence Party (UKIP), along with one council member in Powys. It lost both of its Senedd seats in the 2021 Senedd election.
The Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party was formally registered with the Electoral Commission in July 2015 and was publicly launched in November 2015. Its sole stated aim is the abolition of the Senedd, formerly known as the National Assembly for Wales. The party nominated candidates for each of the regional lists in the 2016 Assembly elections, winning 4.4% of the regional vote and returned no seats. It did not contest any constituency seats.
Former UKIP leadership candidate Richard Suchorzewski stood in the 2019 Newport West by-election, the first time the party had nominated a candidate for a Westminster seat. Suchorzewski stated that his main aim was to raise awareness of the party's message. He campaigned on the single issue of the Welsh Assembly, claiming it was "a waste of money" and "an unnecessary tier of politics". He finished in 8th place out of 11 candidates, with 0.9% of the vote. Suchorzewski had previously stood for the Conservative Party and then for UKIP, standing for leadership of UKIP in 2006 and losing to Nigel Farage.
The deputy chair of the Welsh Conservatives, Lee Canning, defected to the party in November 2019, claiming that his former party were not doing enough to maintain the unity of the UK. The party said it hoped Canning would stand "in a key target seat" in the 2021 Senedd election. In May 2020, Powys councillor Claire Mills quit the Welsh Conservatives and joined the party for similar reasons, becoming the party's first representative in Welsh local government.
Richard Suchorzewski became the new leader of the party in June 2020. Later in the same month Gareth Bennett, the former leader of the UKIP Senedd group and Independent MS, joined the party along with former Brexit Party parliamentary candidates Cameron Edwards and Richard Taylor.
In October 2020, a second member of the Senedd, Mark Reckless, joined the party. Reckless, who was previously the leader of the Brexit Party in Wales (and prior to that a member of UKIP, and before that a Conservative MP), stated, "we surveyed all the [Brexit] party’s registered supporters to ask what they wanted for the future. Two thirds of them wanted Abolish and an end to devolution. So, I am joining the Abolish The Assembly Party to help give those opposed to devolution a proper voice in Welsh politics".
In November 2020, the Electoral Commission removed the party from the register of political parties. The party's former leader, David Bevan, had fallen out with the party and did not renew the party's registration. Instead, he submitted a rival Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party for registration with himself as the leader, claiming this party would be fielding candidates in the next Senedd election. A spokesman for the original party was quoted opposing the registration, warning Bevan against "stealing the party like a thief in the night." This was resolved when the Electoral Commission, in January 2021, rejected the registration of the second party saying, "We have rejected the second application on the basis that when a party is deregistered, its name is protected for a period of time by law. This means that during this time only the previously registered party can apply to use that name."
In January 2021, Abolish was reinstated on the Electoral Register by the Electoral Commission. Suchorzewski said he "[looked] forward to naming candidates to stand for Abolish in the Welsh Assembly/Senedd elections due on 6th May – or later if it's postponed due to the other parties running scared and delaying the election as far into the future as possible. We believe there are safe election solutions, however whenever the election is called we shall be ready."
On 7 March 2021, Abolish announced that it would be running candidates in all constituencies for the 2021 Senedd election. It also said that it would run candidates on the regional list.
On 6 April, one month before election day, it was announced that 10 of the party's candidates had dropped out of the election. This included one of its two MSs, Gareth Bennett, who left to stand as an independent; the reasons for this decision were unspecified.
At the election, Abolish received 18,149 constituency votes and 41,399 regional votes (3.7% of the vote), a drop from its performance in 2016, and failed to win any seats.
On 6 April 2022, Abolish lost its only councillor, Claire Mills, who announced that she would be running as an independent at the 2022 local elections being held on 5 May 2022.
The party published its manifesto for the 2021 Senedd election in April 2021. The key points were:
|Election||# of Constituency votes||% of Constituency vote||# of List votes||% of List vote||# of overall seats won||+/-||Position||Outcome||Notes|
|2016||Did not contest||Did not contest||44,286||4.4 (#6)||
0 / 60
|0||N/A||Not in Assembly|
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|N/A||Not in Senedd|