Nothing pleases my old friend from Newport, Councillor Peter Davies more than causing a bit of a rumpus. So he will be quite pleased that his letter to the Western Mail on Saturday has prompted some discussion in the blogosphere. I have not seen the letter, but I understand the gist of it to be questioning who's the Leader of the Conservative Party in Wales.
I've heard this question asked several times before. It seems to me to be straight forward. David Cameron is the Leader of the Conservative Party throughout Britain, which includes Wales. As a member of the Shadow Cabinet with responsibility for Wales, Cheryl Gillan is our link with the Leader. Nick Bourne is the Leader of the Conservative Group in the National Assembly for Wales, which is also a very significant position within the Party.
Where Coucillor Peter is mistaken in his letter, (or so it seems to me ) is that he thinks Nick is elected by the Conservative AMs in much the same way as the Leader of a Council Group would be elected. This is not the case, as far as I understand things. The Leader of the Assembly Group is elected by a ballot of all members of the Conservative Party in Wales - from names put forward by the AMs. Confusion may have arisen here because when his predecessor, Rod Richards resigned, Nick Bourne was the only name put forward by his fellow AMs. So he was elected unopposed, without a national ballot. This has been the only leadership election since the National Assembly was established. And Nick remains the Leader until such time as he resigns, or a majority of AMs officially seek a national ballot which he goes on to lose. If I have any of this wrong, I will probably hear about it - and correct this post!!