So what happens next in Brecon and Radnorshire?

Now that Conservative MP Chris Davies has been recalled and there will be a by-election in Brecon and Radnorshire, you might be wondering what happens next. Well, this evening he has been selected by the local Conservatives to fight the seat in the by-election despite having been convicted of submitting a fraudulent invoice and almost one in five of his constituents signing a petition to get him sacked.

The message from the Welsh Liberal Democrats is clear – people in Brecon deserve better:

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.

I’ve seen various people saying that it its he Speaker that calls the election and it will definitely be on 25th July.

That is not the case.

This is like any other by-election. It is up to the party who won the seat at the last election to decide when it will take place by moving the writ in the Commons. From the House of Commons website:

If the 10% threshold is reached the petitions officer informs the Speaker of the House of Commons that the recall petition has been successful. On the giving of that notice the seat becomes vacant. A by-election is then required and the recalled may stand as a candidate. The timing of a UK Parliamentary by-election is determined by custom of the House of Commons: the party that previously held the seat will usually decide when to trigger the by-election.

And what is the timescale?

A new Writ is usually issued within three months of the vacancy. There have been a few times when seats remained vacant longer than six months. Seats will be left vacant towards the end of a Parliament. They are then filled at the general election.

If there are many vacant seats by-elections can take place on the same day.

The by-election timetable is between 21 and 27 working days from the issuing of the writ.

If they do that tomorrow, then the by-election will likely take place on 25th July  but they could leave it till after the Summer recess if they wanted.

We shall just have to wait and see.

But whenever it happens, you do need to go if you possibly can. A by-election campaign at full pelt is a sight to behold. You get to see the pinnacle of best practice in our campaigns, you get to enjoy the fantastically busy atmosphere and, in this case, there will be gorgeous scenery.

I am making my plans to go in a couple of weeks’ time. This is not without panic on my part. The last time I went to a by-election, Witney in 2016, I left my husband recovering from what we thought was the Flu. I came back to find him very ill indeed. Within hours he was in hospital where we discovered the Flu was in fact an infection in his heart and he was in hospital for a terrifying 51 days which included open heart surgery. So I did try to persuade the whole family to come down with me and have a nice holiday cottage or something.  They have stuff on so I am going to go on my own. Oh well, once I’m there, I won’t have time to worry.

But, seriously, imagine how amazing it would be to have Jane Dodds elected. She is an absolutely brilliant liberal who, since she became leader has done so much work on tackling issues like exclusion and loneliness. We really need her in our group in the House of Commons.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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16 Comments

  • Given he was the sitting MP I presume they will cut and run for the earliest possible date, he has lost his job and income, after all. Brexiteer he may be but the split in the Tory vote guaranteed by the Brexit Party (unless there’s a deal being planned…) could help us enormously!

  • Wow. I’d heard all the rumours that Davies was going to be re-selected but I couldn’t quite believe them. I mean, even the Tories couldn’t possibly be that arrogant, could they?? I should never have doubted them!
    I completely agree that members should go and help if they can. If you can’t go in person, make a donation. In years to come you’ll want to say you were part of this one. And for new members, it really is the best way to learn how a LibDem campaign works.

  • Richard Underhill 24th Jun '19 - 9:48am

    Defections are not needed, they only have to vote against bad policy in confidence votes.
    Chq in post, good luck.

  • David Becket 24th Jun '19 - 10:04am

    Statements like an “MP embroiled in controversy” will not help our cause at all. He is an idiot who made a bad error of judgement. Do not go down this path, stick to the policies and avoid attacks on the man.

  • Richard Underhill 24th Jun '19 - 10:08am

    Members and supporters asking for advice on when is the best time to go should be advised to go early and build momentum.

  • I am hoping to go next week.
    David Becket. What else would you call it if an MP doesn’t take advice, makes up his own rules, submits a fraudulent claim, is caught out and fined, gets recalled by his constituents and then seeks re-election? Arrogance works for me and I suspect most of his former constituents.
    Of course the election will be about much more important matters than this .‘Bollocks to Brexit’ for a start and lots of the other failures of this dreadful Government. Maybe LDV can keep us all up to date on the campaign including the literature, in which the fraudulent foibles of the former MP will form a very minor part.
    Let’s stop looking for banana skins and get on with winning this by-election!

  • John Bicknell 24th Jun '19 - 1:26pm

    Richard U: I think you are confusing two separate issues; a number of Conservative MPs may vote against the government if they believe they are seeking to implement bad policy, but to vote against your own party in a VONC is a very serious matter; only those who have committed to leave it are likely to take that step.

  • Paul Barker 24th Jun '19 - 2:14pm

    Carons piece does seem a bit passive to me. Surely we should decide whether we want the By-election before the Holiday Season or after & if we go for before then we should call it ourselves ? Since when did Liberalism involve being a slave to convention ?
    If the By-election is after the holidays then it is quite possible that it could be swallowed up in a General Election. In that case does it make sense to throw resources at it ?

  • Tony Greaves 24th Jun '19 - 3:25pm

    34 years ago almost to the day David Hewitt and I had the most enjoyable two days of canvassing I have ever had, calling on three sheets of names and addresses in an upland valley in wonderful blue-skies-and-fluffy-clouds June weather. Yes it took us two days (well, mid-morning to mid-afternoon the next day), in the by-election when the wonderful Richard Livsey was first elected. But don’t assume it’s a shoe-in – it’s a very non-typical constituency. The Con vote may well collapse but it all depends where it goes…

  • Richard Underhill 24th Jun '19 - 4:04pm

    Gwyn Williams is right. Tony Greaves is right.
    Enid Lakeman called it ‘orienteering’ so take a good map.
    In a rural constituency in Wales I was told by the our office that the farmers I was staying with were ‘High Tories’ so not to bother talking politics.
    They wanted to know why I would take the trouble to go for 2 weeks from the Home Counties.
    I said we were mailing all farmers on the basis that their house name included the word farm, although some had sold a house in Surrey and bought a small farm in Wales so that they could have a horse or two.
    I also said that rich farmers do what rich people usually do, vote Tory, but people with smaller farms vote Liberal Democrat.
    They both voted for us, secret ballot, but they did stay up all night to see the result.
    The office did not believe it, but it does pay to give people time and listen.

  • Richard Underhill 24th Jun '19 - 4:19pm

    John Bicknell: I am separating two issues.
    Did you see what Ken Clarke MP said in the Observer?
    He is Father of the House because of his long, uninterrupted, experience, purely mathematical.
    Campaigning jointly with John Redwood (bastard) for the Tory leadership was a mistake. Even the Tory party is not that broad and was not then. Ken Clarke has learned.
    This is also the answer to the question “Can Boris Johnson be stopped?” Yes.
    Please also note BBC1 at 20.30 on 24/6/19. Panorama with John Pienaar.

  • ITV’s political reporter Paul brand has said on Twitter that the chief whip has told the opposition parties that the writ will be moved tomorrow and he thinks that this means a by-election before the new Tory leader enters downing Street which in turn I believe means end of July as supposed to August.

  • Richard Underhill 4th Jul '19 - 8:54am

    Peston (ITV 3/7/19) interviewed Farage remotely.
    Peston wanted to know what Farage is doing about this by-election, given Farage’s repeated failure to get into Parliament. Farage laughed and said the Liberal Democrats will win Brecon and Radnorshire, but, under pressure, said they will do their best.
    Farage presumably knows that he cannot be an MEP and an MP at the same time, although that has happened in the past. He did not say so. Peston could be advised accordingly. Baroness Sarah Ludford was an elected MEP and arranged for her peerage to be temporarily suspended until she lost her seat in the EP.
    We should not be complacent about the Faragists.
    They have used the PR list for the Welsh Assembly to get a foot or two in.
    The bookies are not always right.
    Tony Greaves (above) should be listened to.
    Stock up with high factor barrier cream.

  • Richard Underhill 4th Jul '19 - 10:20am

    Anne Widdecombe was Tory MP for Maidstone but the PM did not give her a peerage. such people can be dissatisfied, but AW was angry. She had famously changed her religious adherence, over a period, from Church of England to Roman Catholic. Changing her political adherence might not have been too difficult. She may feel that she is getting her revenge on former PM David Cameron and the rest of the Conservative Party. Shehas been saying loudly that the Brexit Party had only one policy in the 2019 euro elections and relates that policy to the electorate, but what about the Faragist candidates?
    Ms. A. Rees-Mogg has been interviewed but has been exposed as knowing very little about the job she has taken on. She has said she will do some research. That is dangerous for her because she might start to have her own opinions, different from those of her self-appointed leader. The history of UKIP(1) demonstrates what can happen. One of the UKIP MEPs said on tv that Farage had offered them all places on the Brexit Party list, but did not do that. In the process Farage has almost got rid of the people once described by David Cameron in unflattering terms, which I am reluctant to repeat in polite society, or on this blog.
    Farage wants to appoint 650 candidates for the next general election, so what are the criteria for party approval? Slavish adherence to the various utterences of their leader? Local residence? No history on social media?
    In trying to become an MP Nigel Farage stood for election against Speaker John Bercow. There was no Tory candidate, no Labour candidate, no Liberal Democrat candidate. Farage lost.
    There is a tradition that former Speakers should get a peerage and that he or she should sit on the cross benches in the Lords as an Independent. We do not know whether John Bercow will stand for the Commons again, or whether Farage would decide to offer a candidate against him.
    Scrutiny of Ministers has been helped by the acceptance of requests for Urgent Notice Questions. Several Speakers have said that their policy was to favour back-benchers, which this Speaker has done. If he does not stand for re-election, or is not elected, the next Father of the House will deputise, as Ted Heath did, for the election of another Speaker, probably from a different party. Some of the Deputy Speakers are experienced enough and popular enough with MPs, to be elected with the traditional show of reluctance, bogus because capital punishment has been abolished.

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