Andrew RT Davies MS has been appointed as the new Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Welsh Parliament.
It follows an announcement on Saturday that Paul Davies MS stepped down as the party leader following a Senedd investigation.
Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, Andrew RT Davies MS said: “Becoming leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd once again is a great honour and privilege, and I'm pleased to enjoy the unanimous support of my colleagues to take us forward after a difficult few days for us all.
“On behalf of the Group I want to pay tribute to Paul Davies for his service as leader. Paul is not only a colleague but a trusted friend, who has served his constituents and party with distinction, and will continue to do so.
“There is urgent work in front of all of us and our immediate focus will be continuing to hold the Labour administration in the Senedd to account on vital issues such as the vaccine rollout, and fighting May's election alongside our excellent slate of candidates and dedicated volunteers."
Chairman of the Welsh Conservative Group in the Senedd, Janet Finch-Saunders MS said: “Following a meeting of the Welsh Conservative Group in the Senedd this morning, I’m pleased to confirm that Andrew RT Davies has been endorsed unanimously as our new leader in the Senedd.
“As Chairman of the Group, I want to say thank you to Paul Davies for his immense efforts in the post since 2018.
"Paul played a key role in our record-breaking General Election in 2019, whilst setting the groundwork ahead of May's Senedd election. Our attention now turns to May and taking the fight to the Labour Party.”
Andrew RT Davies' appointment as the new Leader of the Welsh Conservatives has been met with criticism from the Welsh Labour party.
Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party said: “Just weeks ago, Labour called on the Conservatives to suspend Andrew RT Davies and remove him as a candidate over his disgraceful and dangerous comments equating peaceful democratic debate in the UK with deadly violence at the US Capitol. “The Conservative Party failed to act and he has refused to apologise. It is a disgrace that the Welsh Conservatives have just appointed him leader and their candidate for First Minister of Wales. “The people of Wales deserve so much better than this Donald Trump tribute act.”
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price MS said: “After a car crash the backseat driver returns to put Wales in reverse.
"Once rejected by his own Senedd team he will now embark on his pet project of stripping our Senedd of powers and setting Welsh democracy back decades.
"There are 3 options facing voters in May. Standing still under Labour, going backwards with the Tories or joining Plaid Cymru on the journey towards a free and fair Wales.”