A controversial anti-Islam campaigner running for the UKIP leadership has been "demonised", according to the party's leader in the assembly.
Anne Marie Waters, who called Islam evil, said she had faced an "avalanche of lies and smears" and "the party's establishment is terrified I will win".
Neil Hamilton said he did not think Ms Waters looked "out of the ordinary".
But North Wales UKIP AM Michelle Brown urged members to reject "what she stands for".
Ms Waters was allowed to take part in the leadership contest last week.