The Tory Senedd candidate selection process has “not kind to liberal Conservatives” according to one of the party’s MSs.
David Melding, a Member of the Senedd for South Wales Central, has spoken out following the news that pro-devolution MS Suzy Davies lost her place on top of the regional list for the winnable South West Wales seat.
Mr Melding, who is stepping down at the next election, and is also pro-devolution, said that he was “particularly grieved” to see her “outstanding and insightful service so meagerly rewarded”.
Ms Davies has insisted that it wasn’t down to a “devo-related cull” and said that it was “just good old fashioned local party dynamics.”
Mr Melding said: “With respect and congratulations to those selected the WCP’s selection process has not been kind to liberal Conservatives. Particularly grieved to see Suzy Davies’ outstanding and insightful service so meagerly rewarded.”
Suzy Davies said: “Thanks all for such kind messages re SWW list changes. I’ve really appreciated it. I know some choose to see this as some sort of devo-related cull, but it really was just good old fashioned local party dynamics. I know my successor will be as keen on a Tory Welsh Gov as l am.”
Labour Senedd member Huw Irranca-Davies said: “The Conservative Party in Wales in its candidate selections are erasing women, ‘liberal’ Tories, & supporters of devolution.
“The Party of Nick Bourne (& David Melding & Suzy Davies etc) is dying right in front of us. For Wales, read ‘English Tory Party: Wales branch office.”
Nation.Cymru revealed before Christmas that candidates on the South Wales Central regional list, including key Conservative campaign strategist Chris Thorne, and Calum Davies (Suzy Davies’ son), promised to Abolish the Senedd in their pitch to members.
Suzy Davies’ ousting from the top of the list is the second surprise result of the selection process after Jonathan Morgan, who has previously represented the party in Cardiff Bay and is currently an advisor to party leader Paul Davies, was not shortlisted for South Wales Central.