Friday, 4 August 2017

Knives out for Tory "Welsh " leader?

Are the Knives out for "Welsh" Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies as the BBC Arwyn Jones writes.?

He Writes 
"Water will flow under the bridge before we do anything but that water will drown Andrew RT Davies."
It was a startling thing to hear from such a senior Conservative source, who wished to remain anonymous.
It was then followed by: "Do not imagine for a moment that the party in London will roll over on this."
It was early April and the leader of the Conservatives in the assembly, Andrew RT Davies, had just pulled off what he thought was quite a coup.
He had announced that Mark Reckless, the former Conservative MP who defected to UKIP and later became an assembly member for that party, was defecting back to the Conservatives to vote with the group of Tory AMs, although he would not re-join the party.
But there was a catch - the nature of Mr Reckless's first defection to UKIP in 2014 was calculated to cause maximum damage to then Prime Minister, David Cameron.
And Conservative members have long memories.

Well maybe but I don't expect Mr Reckless to attempt to be nominated   for the next Assembly election and I wonder whether he will just bide his time supporting his new Tory colleagues before retiring.

Mr Jones continues
MPs lined up to criticise the move and were doing so, they said, with the backing of the very top brass of Conservative HQ.
They had asked Mr Davies not to press ahead with the move but had been ignored.
There were numerous anonymous calls from MPs and officials for Mr Davies to be sacked, removed from office - anything they could think of to get rid of him.
It was the latest episode of an increasingly fractious relationship between the Conservative groups at both ends of the M4 - the 11 AMs in Cardiff bay led by Mr Davies and the (then) 11 MPs in Westminster.At the assembly election of May 2016 the Conservative party's steady progress in elections in Wales ground to a halt.

I am no fan of Andrew RT Davies and certainly not  the Tories but when your argument is partly based on anonymous  sources then you argument is weak  we are not even told if they were senior sources or just ordinary members.

And apart from Plaid I suspect there is a constant power struggle among the  Unionist Parties when it comes to Welsh MPs v AMs as to who are top dogs in the party here.

During the General Election campaign the friction between Mr Davies and the Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns, came to the surface as they argued over who should represent the party in TV debates.

 Arwyn Jones continues,

During the campaign, the friction between Mr Davies and the Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns, came to the surface as they argued over who should represent the party in TV debates.
In the end, an AM, Darren Millar, had to step in at the last minute.
The early days of the campaign had promised so much for the Conservatives in Wales.
A shock early poll had journalists poring through the history books to see the last time the party had won more MPs here than anyone else (1859, since you ask).
But as it turned out, it was another disappointing result - their share of the vote was at a near-all-time high but they lost three of their 11 MPs.

Maybe Andrew RT Davies may be somewhat pleased that he is not associated with such a disastrous campaign  from the London Head Office he does not have the level of autonomy that Ruth Davidson has in Scotland and I wonder if he has  anything like the Warchest that the Tories had to campaign here  (Was it all raised in Scotland) and from what I can see Labour clearly outspent the Tories here

Is there any real signs of a challenger  emerging .But the second thing is that he cannot be removed because there doe not seem to be anyone who will challenge him for the leadership of the party in the assembly.
Likely candidates such as Paul Davies, Darren Millar and Angela Burns all seem totally uninterested in taking on the leader. according to the BBC.
Lets face it there doesn't seem to be anyone on the Tory benches on the Assembly benches and they all seem (apart from David Melding) to follow London orders.
But the Tories now look to be in a state of collapse at a UK level and if the Tories in Wales do not want to be caught up in this maybe the leader here should consider distancing themselves from the London HQ and arguing for Parity with Scotland  even a Welsh Parliament with real powers  that they should be running.
I don't even want to think about the Tories running Wales from Cardiff Bay but I wonder how long they will want to rely on the popularity  of a UK party when it looks like their  UK leader looks far more likely to be replaced than their Welsh one.

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