Take me to your leader - who runs the Welsh Tories?


'I don't think (it's) at all confusing' said David Jones

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."

David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Poor Mr Cameron. Current UK leader of a party that opposed the very creation of the National Assembly. Couldn't bring himself to say "No! I'm the leader of the Welsh Conservatives because I'm the leader of the Conservative Party!". It seems that the Conservatives are now settled travellers on the road of devolution and the reality that is the multi-national state known as UK or Britain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Trouble is neither David Jones nor RT Davies has got any influence at all with Cameron or Osborne and therefore with the government - any more than Cheryl Gillan had. It doesn't matter who wears the invisible crown.

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    Whoopee! David Jones has been allowed to be called leader of the Welsh Conservatives by Cameron. Golly, like that's a privilege what? He and all the so-called Welsh leaders from Wales who are attached umbilical to London belly are unlike Plaid lead by the noses centrally, worked like a puppet from behind hence David Jones's startled look.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    I'm going off topic here, well I'm glad there's somewhere I can post anything, if there wasn't then this would be a different sort of 'democratic deficit'. Cardiff CC has broken all records and got into 'Private Eye's 'Rotten Boroughs' column in no time flat. A massive hiring spree of 20+ £100k 'managers'. The cost of this in terms of diminished facilities and services isn't yet known.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Thought you were a great advocate of democracy. Thought anything that was in the minority was wrong?


Comments 5 of 14



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