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Friday, April 07, 2017

Tories split over UKIP suspension

Yesterday's decision by Mark Reckless AM to leave the UKIP group and sit within the Conservative Group as an Independent has had consequences, not least for the Tories.

Although the move makes the Tories the second largest group and confers on Andrew R.T, Davies the unofficial title of leader of the opposition, it has caused significant unrest within his party. This is the take by Glyn Davies, the Tory MP for Montgomeryshire:

The BBC report that they have been told by a UK Conservative Party source that Tory AMs have put their positions "in jeopardy" by allowing Mark Reckless to join them. Senior Conservatives, including Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns, have insisted there are no plans to allow Mr Reckless to re-join the party:

The UK Conservative source told BBC Wales: "This is viewed very seriously indeed in London.

"Every member of that group who voted to suspend the constitution has put their position in jeopardy.

"Do not imagine for a moment that the party in London will roll over on this."

The source also said that many rank and file Conservatives were still furious at Mr Reckless for defecting from the party in such a high profile way in 2014 on the eve of a pre-election party conference and had campaigned against him in a resulting by-election.

A second Conservative source told BBC Wales: "The entire Welsh Conservative group is facing de-selection."

Interesting times indeed.
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