Sunday, November 11, 2007

Who's the Leader

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!!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Many people would say that it is possible that Nick has gone past his sell by date and should be taken off the shelf and put in the recycle bin. The question then arises - who is in a position to take over from him or would like to?

Glyn Davies said...

anon - any chance you could tell us who you are? It would be interesting. Looking in from the outside, it seems to me that Nick is doing a very good job of leading the oppopsition.

Patriot said...

Glyn,

He'd be more credible if he had the guts to publish the comments of potential contributors on his blog. Whats he so scared off? I suspect he can dole it out but not take it. He needs to take a leaf out of your book. Your site offers open debate in good humour where supporters and detractors get a balanced hearing and response.

I reckon Westminister's the wrong job for you, you need his.

Your implacable political opponent - Patriot.

PS out of retirement in readiness for the referendum!

Glyn Davies said...

patriot - another post that I would prefer not to have published!! But I said I'd publish everything - within reason. Implacable opponents are welcome on this site. Are we on the same side in the referendum. I was talking to a real Labour man today whom I expect to be a referendum opponent.

Activist said...

Glyn,

Not sure whether this is the place to comment but your suggestion that John Griffith's views are in a minority amongst Labour AMs is just isn't true. It is certainly the predominant view in the cabinet and is the only view that any winning leadership candidate will hold.

Who are the 14 Labour AMs you believe to be opposed to their government?

Glyn Davies said...

activist - not sure what I have said - or where. Can't find it. But what I do think is that, in general, Labour AMs are in favour of a proper parliament in Cardiff Bay, and that Labour MPs are not. The same might be said about my party at the moment - although several of our parliamentary candidates agree with me about this. It would be wrong of me to speak for them, but I just mention Guto Bebb, Suzy Davies, Trefor Jones plus others who have not been so public about what they think. This is moving territory.

Patriot said...

Glyn,

You suggested on sandeffs blog than John Griffith's views were held by only a minority of Labour AMs. Thats the origin of my question. If it's true an awful lot of those AMs have been telling me porkies.........

Glyn Davies said...

patriot - you are right. I meant to say MPs rather than AMs. And in a minority in the party rather than in a minority of AMs. Sorry about that. I just didn't check before publishing.