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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fallout from Welsh Tory split continues

Today's Western Mail reports that Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies could be facing a further damaging challenge to his authority as it emerged that moves are being made to seriously dilute his responsibility over policy.

They say that senior party sources have told them that serious consideration is being given to a system whereby the leadership will need to gain approval from the party membership, or the Welsh party’s management board, before policies were formally adopted.

They add that Mr Davies is understood to be have been told to bring the four sacked Members – Monmouth AM and former Business and Enterprise Committee chairman Nick Ramsay, North Wales AM Antoinette Sandbach, Aberconwy AM Janet Finch-Saunders and South Wales East AM Mohammad Asghar – back into the Shadow Cabinet, in similar positions to those they had before, before the Welsh Tory party conference next month.

This is of course an interesting development concerning a Welsh Tory group that remains badly split, with official complaints being made by one member against another. However, it does raise a more fundamental question: what sort of political party allows its leader to set policy without reference to the membership?

That sort of arrangement seems to me to be more dictatorial than democratic. If members have not questioned the set-up before then, why not?  Clearly, there is need for some glasnost within the Welsh Conservative party.
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