'We're a united party!' We catch up with Andrew RT Davies over Reckless defection

Mark Reckless' decision to join the Conservative group was welcomed by Mr Davies.

Andrew RT Davies has spoken out over the defection of Mark Reckless - after we finally caught up with him.

The Welsh Conservative leader said the party remains united, despite a number of senior Tories, including Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns, confirming there were no plans for him to re-join the party as a member.

Mr Reckless said he had not applied to rejoin, nor had he "asked for anything at the UK level at all".

Mr Reckless said he had been "thoroughly impressed by the performance and discipline of Andrew RT Davies and the Welsh Conservative group" since joining the Assembly last May.

I think there are still some sore wounds and people who feel that I've stood against the party in previous times and it's not for me to waltz back into the party with any sense of entitlement. I need to knuckle down and support Andrew RT Davies. I'm delighted I've made the Conservatives the official opposition in Wales and we want to support Theresa May and the UK Government with what they're doing. I think the Conservatives will be in a much stronger position now in Wales to work with Theresa May and get the best deal for Wales. >

Mark Reckless AM
Mark Reckless has ruffled a few feathers in both UKIP and Conservative groups. Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Archive/PA Images

Mark Reckless Timeline:

  • 2014 - Joins UKIP from the Conservatives and wins a by-election in his Rochester and Strood seat.

  • 2015 - Voted out of the Commons in the 2015 general election.

  • 2016 - Elected to the Welsh Assembly on a UKIP ticket.

  • 2017 - Quits UKIP and joins Welsh Conservative group in the Senedd.

In a letter to Mr Davies, the assembly presiding officer Elin Jones said, as Mr Reckless was no longer a member of UKIP, that he "can be treated as a member of your group for the purposes of our procedures within the Assembly".