Saturday, 21 November 2015

William Graham effectively de-selected by Tories for Assembly elections.

BBC Wales have covered the news that a 

"A Tory AM effectively de-selected by the party has said he was the victim of an "orchestrated campaign".
William Graham dropped from first to fifth place in a party members' ballot for the South Wales East regional list for the 2016 assembly election.
He said he had "upset too many people" by being pro-devolution and backing projects such as an M4 relief road.
Mr Graham told BBC Wales' Good Morning Wales Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies was "intrigued" by the result".
Mr Graham however seems to think that there were behid the scenes campaign to oust him
Speaking on Good Morning Wales, Mr Graham said he was "a victim of a bit of an orchestrated campaign, to come from first to fifth this time".

"I suppose I've done pretty well to survive the last four elections.
"I think also that I've upset too many people in my party."
Mr Graham said he had campaigned against creating a Welsh assembly in the 1979 and 1997 referendums, but Conservatives were "pragmatic".

"I've certainly come to passionately believe in devolution now [as] the only real way to save the United Kingdom, so that upset the right."And on the left, I suppose my championing of many of the infrastructure projects - particularly the motorway solution to the M4, I'm very keen on the circuit of Wales in Ebbw Vale, electrification and the metro - hasn't exactly made me a favourite with the left."
In February, Mr Graham was one of three Conservative AMs "spoken to" by their leader following an argument on Twitter about the party's M4 policy and expressed his views on his website

To his credit Mr Graham seems to be remaining loyal to a Party for now  that have effectiveky sacked him. Asked if he would remain in the Conservative Party, Mr Graham replied "you bet", saying he would be out canvassing for the Tories on Saturday morning.

The other sitting Tory AM in South Wales East, Mohammad Asghar, topped the poll, with Laura Anne Jones coming second on the list.
She was previously an AM between 2003-07.

Of course the Wasting Mule online managed to find "a Welsh Conservative source", who thinks that that this was largely about Mr Grahams pro devolution stance linking the decision to the row over the income tax lockstep, said:

 “Every other group in the Assembly is getting a talent upgrade, except the Welsh Tories.
“What has happened in South East Wales is that a small cabal of disgruntled anti-devolution members want to give the leadership a continued kicking over an arcane devolution row nearly two years ago.
“When the ‘lockstep four’ got sacked, they hoped that William Graham would jump with them, but instead he stayed and kept his paid Committee Chairmanship job. They never forgave him, and rather than put the party interest first, they remain intent on fighting a bizarre turf war over an issue that was resolved, and that nobody else understands.
“If the party membership honestly think that Mohammed Asghar represents a fresh thinking future for the party, the fifth Assembly does not look bright for Tories in Wales.”
 Indeed  many of you will recall that Mr Ashgar was first elected to the Assembly for Plaid Cymru  before deserting them for the Tories and whilst he'd not the most high profile AM  (how many are there?) he may well win votes for this from his Tory ccomrades  who think the headline 'Orchestrated campaign' ousted Conservative AM" rather than "Tories drop Plaid defector"

When it was first announced that the two Tory  List AM  for South Wales East  would not automatically be on the Top of the Party list I thought it was Mr Ashgar  who was  the object of a deselection process but it seems it was Mr Graham.

It does rather show that "List" MPs" need to make sure that they keep the Party grassroots happy or is it  the party leadership? Maybe in MR Graham's case a failure of both.

1 comment:

  1. See your Tories are like our Tories, against the setting up of the Assembly/Parliament but happy to take the money and sit in it. I can see how you thought it might be the defector who was deselected but no, the one who is seen as really disloyal.