Thursday, 26 March 2015

Tory AM shows contempt for aAsembly by seeking English Westminster seat.

Any doubts that the Tories  do not take the Welsh Assembly seriously  comes with news that one of their number  has been selected for the safe English Conservative seat of Eddisbury in Chesire.

General Election 2010: Eddisbury [5]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
ConservativeStephen O'Brien23,47251.7+4.8
Liberal DemocratBob Thompson10,21722.5+4.5
LabourPat Merrick9,79421.6−10.5
UKIPCharles Dodman1,9314.3+1.3
Majority13,25529.2
Turnout45,41469.5
Conservative holdSwing+0.2
Antoinette Sandbach has  generously said she will stand down as an AM if she wins at the May 7 poll, and vowed to give up her salary to charity for the campaigning period.( That's good of her).
This means three Tory AMs are now campaigning for a Westminster seat.
Both Byron Davies and Mark Isherwood have been selected for Gower and Delyn respectively.
All  three are Regional Lists AM  so if they are successful and if  they  resign their Assembly seats there will be no by-election and they will be be presumably replaced with whoever was next on the list.
 In the case of  Ms Sandbach  who position would be open to ridicule if she was to stay on until 2016   it could be the third person on the list.  on the list, Janet Haworth, who could take her seat for the remainder of the Assembly term.. If Mr Isherwood was to  win Delyn. Not an impossibility 
General Election 2010: Delyn[5][6]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
LabourDavid Hanson15,08340.8−4.9
ConservativeAntoinette Sandbach12,81134.6+8.5
Liberal DemocratBill Brereton5,74715.5−2.4
Plaid CymruPeter Ryder1,8445.0−2.4
BNPJennifer Matthys8442.3N/A
UKIPAndrew Haigh6551.8+0.2
Majority2,2726.1
Turnout36,98469.2+5.5
Labour holdSwing−6.
 And do the right thing and resign his Assembly seat the Tories might turn to the fourth on the list  Julian Thompson-Hill . Though if both Janet Haworth  and Thompson-Hill were to decline. I presume they could pick anyone  not even bothering to have an internal party vote in North Wales.
It wouldn’t be the first time that Tory Assembly Members have crossed over to Westminster.
Previous AMs David Davies and Alun Cairns have seats in the Commons, in the seats of Monmouth and the Vale of Glamorgan. and they stayed onfor the duration of the previous Assembly.
 Before the vote Ms Sandbach said:
 “I have a strong track record of representing my constituents in Wales and I would like to use that experience for the benefit of residents in Eddisbury.“I have been overwhelmed by the messages of support from my constituents and I am very proud to have represented them over the last four years.“I am taking nothing for granted and clearly both Eddisbury Conservatives and the Eddisbury voters will want to vote for the person that will best represent them.“I would want to ensure a proper handover to my successor and clearly, if elected, I will be standing down as an Assembly Member – but I would like to make sure that there is a seamless transition for my casework and my staff.“My successor may well need to make arrangements of their own, so I will be consulting with the Welsh Conservatives about the best way to ensure an appropriate handover.”
Tory Assembly group leader Andrew RT Davies said:

 "Antoinette has been an exceptional Assembly Member and I would like to wish her every success in her campaign as a prospective parliamentary candidate.
"With her committed approach to representing constituents and her wide experience of devolution, I know Antoinette will make a first class MP for the people of Eddisbury.”
Mr Davies was quizzed earlier this week by journalists as to whether he was disappointed by so many of his AMs going for Westminster seats.
“I don’t see it at all as looking at this place as a staging post [for the Commons,]” said he said.“It’s just a sign that the team that I am privileged to lead have talents that are recognised by the party more widely.“What will be a huge benefit to Welsh devolution and in particular the Welsh Conservatives will be to have three extra MPs in Westminster who have an unique understanding of devolution because they have served as Assembly Members.“I look forward to campaigning with my colleagues over the next six to eight weeks to make sure they do get elected... I’m sure they will make great MPs.” “I don’t see it as a promotion at all. There’s traffic moving both ways all the time, such is politics.”

Well it looks one way to me  

But voters are entitled to ask . How committed are Tory AM to nor only the Assembly but to Devolution?

We should also ask about the nature of the Additional List system/ The idea that after May North Wales could be represented by people who were third or fourth on the Tory  list im 2011 or if they declined (maybe they are also Westminster Candidates for English seats) by someone who wasn't even on the list.

At the next Assembly election every Tory standing  in the Assembly election will have to answer the Question

Do you really;y want  to be a part of the Welsh Legislature  or do your ambitions lie elsewhere?.

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