Re-elected Tory Senedd member hits out at ‘personal slurs’ from opponents
Jez Hemming, local democracy reporter
Janet Finch-Saunders hit out at what she called “personal slurs” from opponents after she retained the Aberconwy Senedd seat with a 3,336 majority.
Last time out she beat Trystan Lewis by just 754 votes and this was a seat targeted by Plaid Cymru for victory.
However, in the socially distanced setting of The Barn in Colwyn Bay Mrs Finch-Saunders had some strong words for her opponents during her victory speech.
According to the register of interests, his opponent Janet Finch-Saunders is one Senedd’s biggest landlords, owning or jointly owning ten properties in the county. She also jointly owns a rental property in Menai Bridge.
She came in for criticism during the campaign because her register of interests statement to the Senedd showed that he had employed her husband as temporary office manager.
Janet Finch-Saunders added: “I am humbled and proud to represent this seat. I have fought nine elections and I have fought them with courtesy, dignity and good manners.
“I have had my family records and declarations in the Senedd pored over and received personal slurs.
“Manners mean alot to a lot of people but they cost nothing. I would say to anyone entering into public life toi do it with dignity and humility.
“I do draw the line when my family have been offended in the way they have.”
She also said she had stood for the businesses of the constituency who had received poor treatment during the pandemic from Mark Drakeford’s Labour Welsh Government.
Plaid Cymru lost more than 400 votes from their 2016 haul and party members looked genuinely shocked at the margin of victory for Mrs Finch-Saunders.
As Mrs Finch-Saunders made her speech there were shouts of “rubbish” from rival party activists in the audience.
However the numbers of Tory supporters within postal votes was a concern for their supporters from the start of the count, which revealed and increased turnout from 2016.
In third place Labour’s Dawn McGuinness polled 5,971, within 69 votes of the party’s 2016 total.
The full results for Aberconwy were:
- Janet Finch-Saunders – Welsh Conservative Party: 9,815 (elected)
- Aaron Wynne – Plaid Cymru: 6,479
- Dawn McGuinness – Labour: 5,971
- Rhys Jones – Liberal Democrats: 735
- Rachel Bagshaw – Reform UK: 320
- Sharon Smith – No More Lockdowns: 223