Tory MP David Davies: Welsh secretary 'needs Welsh seat'
The next Welsh secretary should represent a Welsh constituency, according to a prominent Conservative backbencher.
Monmouth MP David Davies said it would be "difficult" for his party if another MP from an English constituency was appointed as Cheryl Gillan's successor.
There is widespread speculation about an imminent ministerial reshuffle.
Mr Davies said fellow Welsh Tories Stephen Crabb and David Jones deserved a promotion if Mrs Gillan was replaced.
As MPs return to Westminster after the summer recess, there is mounting speculation that David Cameron will reshuffle his cabinet in the first major changes to his top team since becoming prime minister.
Mr Davies, chairman of the Commons' Welsh Affairs Committee, said he hoped Mrs Gillan would stay on and that she had faced an "uphill struggle" when she was appointed.
At that time the Tories had only three Welsh MPs, compared to the current eight, he told BBC Radio Wales.'Experience'
He said: "There's plenty of experience there and I think it would be politically very difficult for us on the doorstep to explain why it is that with eight member of parliament who have served - let's not go through all the list - but spent years and years in Welsh politics why none of them could be the secretary of state for Wales.
"I will go even further and say that either David Jones or Stephen Crabb would be excellent choices and nobody could argue that they have got the credibility to do the job."
Clwyd West MP Mr Jones serves under Mrs Gillan as a minister at the Wales Office while Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Mr Crabb is an assistant whip.
There is speculation that Work and Pensions Minister Maria Miller - who was brought up in Bridgend - could be moved to the Wales brief, but Mr Davies said her Basingstoke constituency "would be a problem".
Mrs Gillan, the MP for Chesham and Amersham in Buckinghamshire, has been Welsh Secretary since 2010 and was the Conservatives' shadow Welsh secretary in opposition.