Chris Davies reselected in Brecon and Radnorshire: Welsh Lib Dems respond

Responding to the the news that the Brecon and Radnorshire Conservative Association have reselected Chris Davies as their candidate, a Welsh Liberal Democrat spokesperson said:

Over 10,000 people signed the recall petition and decisively rejected Chris Davies because they had enough of an MP putting Brecon and Radnorshire on the map for all the wrong reasons.

By adopting Chris Davies again the Conservatives have demonstrated they can offer nothing more than an MP embroiled in controversy. People deserve better.

This by-election is a clear choice between the same old broken politics from the Conservatives, or a chance to demand better for our communities with Jane Dodds and the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

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25 Comments

  • John Marriott 24th Jun '19 - 9:18am

    Hubris? Arrogance? Or just plain stupidity? Well, at least there’s 10,000 + votes that surely won’t be going his way! As for the ‘MP embroiled in controversy’, where have we seen that before?

  • “As for the ‘MP embroiled in controversy’, where have we seen that before?”

    In every political party including the Liberal Party and the Liberal Democrats…… many in the not too distant past…. including very many years ago a very prominent Welsh Liberal who became Prime Minister and not so mysteriously accumulated millions of pounds. I could list them all here…… but if I did this post would probably disappear.

    I would caution campaigning in Brecon & Radnor on a holier than thou platform. I also remember what happened to John Major and what happened after his ‘Back to basics’ speech.

  • Richard Underhill 24th Jun '19 - 9:57am

    The Andrew Marr show on Sunday had three women reviewing the papers. The Telegraph’s woman made a point about opinion polls.
    Pity the pollsters, trying to measure opinion on a fresh news story about Boris Johnson. They know who the Tory councillors are, but it is more difficult to do a balanced sample of Tory party members. She was wrong to conflate the two categories.

  • David Becket 24th Jun '19 - 10:00am

    Very wise words from David Raw. Do not get dragged down that path, it could lose us the opportunity of a gain. The statements from the Welsh Lib Dems do not look promising. I might end up regretting my donation to B&R.

  • David Raw 24th Jun ’19 – 9:38am
    I would caution campaigning in Brecon & Radnor on a holier than thou platform. I also remember what happened to John Major and what happened after his ‘Back to basics’ speech.

    David Becket 24th Jun ’19 – 10:00am
    Do not get dragged down that path, it could lose us the opportunity of a gain.

    It’s surely fair enough to point out the reason for the recall petition and the by-election!

    I can’t see that doing that is going to lose us the by-election! And what has back to basics got to do with it?

    And I’d fully expect (and hope) that other parties would do the same if there was a Lib Dem candidate with similar problems.

  • I doubt if we will make it a key part of our campaign but there is no harm in reminding voters that the reason we have an election is that the Tory MP (now candidate) decided to break the rules on expenses through forgery. Knowing Jane, she will want a campaign on a range of policy issues such as health provision and education in rural areas.

  • Alex Macfie 24th Jun '19 - 1:38pm

    Not convinced that early 20th century political scandals have much relevance in an early C21 by-election. The most similar controversy to affect a prominent Lib Dem in more recent times is that of Chris Huhne. But he resigned his seat after he changed is plea to guilty, and did not stand in the resulting by-election. Somewhat more honorable behaviour than that of Chris Davies, and it meant there was no need for a recall petition, and we were able to fight the by-election without the shadow of Huhne’s misdemeanour.

  • Alex Macfie “But he resigned his seat after he changed is plea to guilty, and did not stand in the resulting by-election.” He wasn’t exactly around to do it, was he ? Shall we say he was otherwise detained ?

    Chris Moore.’ What has back to basics got to do with it ?’ You’ve clearly got a short memory, Chris ……. or you weren’t around at the time ?

  • Dennis Wake 24th Jun '19 - 3:07pm

    The former MP still seems to be popular locally at least among certain people. Unfortunately misbehaviour does not seem to put off the truly committed, quite the reverse, as we have seen in the wider sphere. It makes them more determined, in this case to vote. Everyone in the constituency who has any interest in the matter will know why the by election is being held so we should play it down and stick to the real issues which are important to those who are likely to vote for our candidate who seems a very good sort. David Raw and David Becket are right.

  • The crash in the price of lamb (down by 40% – as a result of Brexit supported by the Tory MP) – in a predominantly hill farming area seems to me to be a more fruitful and relevant form of attack.

    I was talking to a friend who is a vet in Cumbria at the weekend and he told me that the upland farmers are in despair on the edge of a catastrophe.

  • David Becket 24th Jun '19 - 4:10pm

    Agreed David. In two weeks I make my annual visit to a hill farmer in Galloway. He was approaching despair last year I do not expect good news this year.

  • chris moore 24th Jun '19 - 5:45pm

    @The Two Davids
    Chris Moore.’ What has back to basics got to do with it ?’ You’ve clearly got a short memory, Chris ……. or you weren’t around at the time ?

    I can’t help feeling you’re both tilting at an Aunt Sally. The Lib Dem campaign isn’t going to major on theTory MP’s daft decisión. There are obviously more important issues locally, not least the dire plight of hill farmers in the event of a hard Brexit.

    Back to basics? John Major encouraged the electorate to stand up for family values by voting Tory. Did not turn out well because he amongst other Tory MPs had lovers.

    Not really a parallel. I can’t believe we’re going to start campaigning at a national level on the grounds that Lib Dems have less irregularities with their expenses than Tories.

  • More interesting is that Plaid are considering a Remain pact and may not stand. Maybe 1,500 votes in that for someone else if they don’t.

  • David Raw: Hardly relevant. Do you honestly think Chris Huhne would have wanted to stand again having resigned his seat?

  • @ Chris Moore ” I can’t believe we’re going to start campaigning at a national level on the grounds that Lib Dems have less irregularities with their expenses than Tories.”

    Well, I’m awfully sorry to say…… but they did…… this morning.

    As Aunt Sally, the Welsh Lib Dem spokesperson announced this morning : “By adopting Chris Davies again the Conservatives have demonstrated they can offer nothing more than an MP embroiled in controversy. People deserve better.”

    As they used to say in the Army, “Read Despatches”, Chris….. or didn’tb you notice ?

  • 1st August is the date.

  • “Embroiled in controversy” is a pretty mild criticism and unlikely to rouse much anger as it is true. Banging on about the actual offence for which he was convicted could cause difficult, not to say embarrassing, comparisons. I hope they have the sense not to do that.
    Not sure which way the hill farmers of Brecon and Radnor voted in the referendum but many farmers did vote to leave the EU though I gather some of them are rather regretting it now. Making a protest vote can sometimes have unfortunate consequences.

  • David Raw @ As Aunt Sally, the Welsh Lib Dem spokesperson announced this morning : “By adopting Chris Davies again the Conservatives have demonstrated they can offer nothing more than an MP embroiled in controversy. People deserve better.”
    As they used to say in the Army, “Read Despatches”, Chris….. or didn’tb you notice ?

    But this is part of the B and R campaign!

    Completely different to Back to Basics which was a national campaign.

    They should have chosen another candidate. Someone who has already fiddled his expenses is not a good choice.

  • Robert (Somerset) 25th Jun '19 - 2:59pm

    I agree. Please do not make the campaign about the recall. Everyone will know why the by-election has been called so let’s stick to the real issues and the campaigning which meant we held the seat for many years in the past.

  • Paul Barker 25th Jun '19 - 3:13pm

    It was going to be August 1st but that has now been dropped because of “issues with the returning officer” which no-one at the Local Council seems to know anything about. A good opportunity to accuse the Tories of cowardice & call the By-election ourselves ?

  • chris moore 25th Jun '19 - 3:57pm

    If a GE comes before the by-election, it’s a very possible gain anyway.

  • Robert from Somerset is quite right when he says “do not make the campaign about the recall”. But, unfortunately in the main lead article above, that’s exactly what they did.

    They should stop it now and pursue a positive constructive campaign.

  • nvelope2003 26th Jun '19 - 3:14pm

    The constituency had a Liberal MP until 1924 but after that was mostly Labour except for 1931 when it elected a Conservative and 1979 and 1983 when it did it again. It has only been Liberal/ Liberal Democrat from 1985 to 1992 with a very small majority, and 1997 to 2015 when the Liberal Democrats were doing well and the Conservatives were not. These sort of seats seem to vote for the person rather than the party – Roger Livsey’s successor only just scraped in despite his predecessor’s large majority. Jane Dodds may be an admirable person but she was unable to retake the formerly safe Liberal seat of Montgomeryshire from the Conservatives.
    Even in rural areas most voters are not necessarily involved in farming. A lot of effort will be needed to win this seat for the Liberal Democrats. There was an improvement in support for the Liberal Democrats in Wales at the European elections – not as big as in the rest of Britain but about the same as in Scotland, no doubt because of the rise of Nationalism, although that seems to be waning in the rest of Europe.
    Wales seems to be turning away from Labour towards the hard Right although I do not understand why the Brexit Party got 2 seats at the European election when their surplus percentage seemed to be less than the percentage of votes cast for the Liberal Democrats.

  • David Allen 26th Jun '19 - 5:42pm

    I wonder if campaigning on the recall issue might unlease a bit of perverse sympathy for the Tory. Yes, the forgery was daft, but, the expenses claims would have been perfectly valid and unexceptionable if the MP had simply organised his affairs more sensibly. We don’t want to lay ourselves open to the accusation that the recall procedure is liable to get abused for political ends. Better to stick to the issues and the disaster that is a Boris Bogus Brexit.

  • David Allen 26th Jun '19 - 5:44pm

    “unleash” not “unlease”. (Please hire me a proofreader!)

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