Take me to your leader - who runs the Welsh Tories?
- 9 October 2012
- From the section Wales politics
Who's in charge? Who leads the Welsh Conservative Party?
It's a question that has divided Tories in Wales. At last year's Welsh Conservative conference David Jones chose to introduce Cheryl Gillan - then secretary of state for Wales - as "the leader of the Welsh Conservative Party".
Eighteen months later, Mr Jones inherited her Cabinet job but appears to have lost the leadership. The prime minister told me he was happy for Andrew RT Davies, "leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the National Assembly for Wales" to be known as "the leader of the Welsh Conservative Party".
David Cameron said: "Yes, I am very happy with that. He has got a mandate and it is very important that Conservatives in Wales know that they have got a leader who sits in the Assembly, who is standing up for the Conservative Party in Wales and I am very happy for that."
Good news for Andrew RT Davies, slightly less good news for David Jones? As you might expect, I asked David Jones what he thought of this development. He explained how any change would have to go to the board of the Welsh Conservative Party before going to the "national" board of the party. If the party constitution is changed it might have to be agreed by the wider party with a two thirds vote.
"This is," said Mr Jones, "the beginning of a very long process. It amounts essentially to a label."
The question of who is in charge depended on where the question was asked - Cardiff or Westminster.
Not everyone sees it as just a label, particularly given the history of a party that opposed the setting up of the Welsh assembly.
MP and former AM Glyn Davies tweeted last night: "prime minister agrees Tory 'Assembly group leader' should be known and treated as 'leader of Welsh Conservative Party'. A significant change."