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Monday, April 10, 2017

Further splits emerge within Welsh Tories over UKIP defection

It would be fair to say that the decision by former UKIP AM, Mark Reckless to sit as an Independent within the Welsh Assembly Tory group has not been met with unanimous praise within the Welsh Conservatives or amongst Tory MPs.  One would have expected though that the group which apparently welcomed Reckless with open arms would be more receptive. Apparently not.

As the BBC reports, over the weekend one of those AMs publicly broke ranks. Monmouth AM Nick Ramsay went onto Radio Wales yesterday and asked: "Am I a member of a Welsh Conservative group or am I a member of some kind of hybrid independent group?"

Speaking on BBC Radio Wales' Sunday Supplement programme, Mr Ramsay said: "It has raised as many questions as it has answered and from my point of view, I think we need clarification on this because I think confusion will otherwise arise.

"We now have a member in the Conservative group who is not a member of the party - now that is a strange situation."

Contradicting what his party leader earlier insisted, Mr Ramsay said the party's constitution "had to have been suspended in some shape or manner".

He also said a Wales Office minister would not be willing to meet with the Welsh Conservative group with Mr Reckless in it.

Mr Ramsay also raised concerns about the impact this would have on the party at the polls: "Are we a Welsh Conservative group that can go into a future assembly election and campaign on one united platform? Clearly that is not the case.

In going public in this way Nick Ramsey effectively contradicted his leader's earlier statement that there was "unanimous agreement" among his group "that Mark was a fit and proper person to vote with and work with the Conservative group in the assembly".

This row could run and run.
On a political level if the Lib Dems can get votes using this they should go ahead.
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