Nigel Farage has announced that four AMs are planning to form a Brexit Party group in the Welsh Assembly.
He announced Mark Reckless as the group leader, on a visit to Cardiff Bay.
Other members include Mandy Jones, Caroline Jones and David Rowlands. UKIP confirmed Mr Rowlands had resigned from its group in the Senedd – meaning the party no longer has a Senedd group.
Mr Farage said: “The leavers in Wales are all coming back together again, no more divided tribe.
“I’m very pleased as a leader of the Brexit Party to welcome four members of the Welsh Assembly who will now re-designate as of this afternoon as Brexit Party members”.
Mark Reckless told a press conference on the Senedd steps: “Brexit is being blocked and the Brexit Party group in the Welsh Assembly from today will be supporting Nigel Farage, supporting the Brexit Party in everything that they are doing to protect our democracy and to ensure that Brexit is delivered.”
The group of four wrote to the presiding officer to request they form a Brexit Party group “with immediate effect”, with Mr Reckless as leader and Mr Rowlands resigning from UKIP.
An assembly commission spokeswoman confirmed that the request is under consideration.
Presiding Officer Elin Jones must be satisfied the requirements of being a group under assembly rules are met before it can be officially recognised as a one.
Some Labour and Plaid Cymru AMs are considering trying to amend the rules, known as standing orders, to prevent groups representing parties who did not stand in the assembly election from being recognised.
Alun Davies, Blaenau Gwent Labour AM, told the Senedd there were members on both sides of the chamber who were “deeply disturbed at the undermining of our democracy by events today”.
“These chancers did not stand for election under any party label they are using today,” he said.
“They are using this in order to access public resources and public money without standing for election and seeking the consent of anybody or any constituency or region in any part of Wales.”
He asked the presiding officer to use “some discretion” to consider the matter over a “period of time” to allow AMs to consider their own thoughts and responses.
Gareth Bennett, UKIP AM who led the party in the assembly when it was a group, said Mr Rowlands departure from UKIP will “inevitably lead to job losses for our hard working support staff, something which David was well aware of before reaching his decision”.
“I am sorry and disappointed that David has decided to take this step,” he said.