The Conservative MP for Montgomeryshire, Glyn Davies, has told his local party that he will not be their candidate at the next General Election. Mr Davies won the seat from the Liberal Democrats in 2010 and now has a majority of 9,285.
Deciding not to contest the next General Election has been a very difficult and emotional decision. I’m the only person who can take this decision, and the current uncertainty in politics tells me it’s the right time to step aside, allowing whoever my successor will be the freedom to become established. Unlike many MPs and their respective [constituency] associations, I have always enjoyed the support and friendship of the Montgomeryshire [Conservative] Association officers and members, even through the current Brexit turbulence.
Mr Davies, who's 75, points out that the next election is meant to be in 2022. But he's giving his local party the chance to start selecting a new candidate at a time when political instability at Westminster has fuelled talk of an early election. In an interview with our Political Editor, Adrian Masters, he said it was a difficult time to be an MP.
It's a dIfficult time because of its frustrations. It's coming down to London and finding you're going round in circles and finishing up doing nothing. That's harder work than work. I am pretty fed up but it isn't the reason I'm retiring. I'm fed up and I want us to have an agreement, I want us to move on.
Mr Davies has also been unhappy about plans to abolish the Montgomeryshire constituency as part of a plan to cut the number of Welsh seats from 40 to 29 but all consideration of that process has been halted by the Brexit crisis.
A former Chair of the Development Board for Rural Wales and AM for Mid & West Wales, he's always been proud to be a native and life-long resident of the constituency that he represents in parliament.
His constituency association will now have to decide on a successor. An early contender is the former Cardiff North MP, Craig Williams, who's now a special adviser to the Brexit Secretary, Stephen Barclay. Mr Williams is also a native of Montgomeryshire and has returned to live there since his defeat at the 2017 election.
Glyn Davies enthusiastically welcomed Mr Williams appointment to the Brexit department.
I’ve known Craig since he left Welshpool High School to work with me in my Montgomeryshire constituency office when I was an Assembly Member. I always knew he was destined for great things. I was really pleased when the irresistible ‘pull’ of Montgomeryshire brought him back to his family roots. Over the decades, Montgomeryshire has produced several influential politicians. I am pleased to have played a part in developing the career of another politician to take his place in the heart of Government.
The support of the departing MP does not always secure the nomination for someone seeking to succeed him. Local activists jealously guard their right to pick the candidate that they will have to campaign to get elected. But it's unlikely that endorsement by Glyn Davies will do Craig Williams any harm at all.