Opposition Senedd members have criticised the Conservative choice of candidate in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, who doesn’t live in Wales.
In an article on WalesOnline, Donna Gavin says she grew up in London and lives in Gloucestershire, and that her only link with Wales is army training in the Brecon Beacons and travellling over the border to do some mountain biking.
“Merthyr has a special place in the heart of those that serve, not only does the Army recruit a lot from here, and I know many locals who have gone on to thrive in the Army, we also sit in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons where I have spent many a night being wet, cold and tired,” she told WalesOnline.
Blaenau Gwent MS Alun Davies said she was a “Tory looking to cut her teeth somewhere” and criticised WalesOnline for being “gullible enough to give her a puff piece”.
Ynys Môn’s Plaid Cymru MS Rhun ap Iorwerth asked if he was “missing something”.
“Great army career and all… but no mention of why on earth she’d want the be in the Welsh Parliament. No interest in future of Wales,” he said.
“And as for ‘not what you’d call a ‘professional politician’ she literally wants to be an MS because it’s a political job.”
Conservative Brecon and Radnorshire MP Fay Jones, however, defended Donna Gavin, saying it was “great to have Donna Gavin on the team”.
“Fantastic that she wants to continue her public service in politics,” she said. “Looking forward to campaigning for her next year.”
She said that those criticising the choice of the candidate were “pathetic”.
“Hard enough for women to get into politics without old men giving them a tough time,” she said. “Pick on someone your own size.”
Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney is currently represented by Labour MS Dawn Bowden who won with 47.2% of the vote. In 2016, the Conservative candidate came fourth with 6.4% of the vote.