Holding the reins
The leader is gone. Long live the interim leader.
The new Conservative group of Assembly Members met with the party management board this morning to start the process of finding a new leader - one that starts with finding someone to hold the fort in the meantime.
The only candidate for that job, I gather, was Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies. There were no dissenting voices. His job will be to bring a bit of stability to a group that finds itself in good shape - the official opposition - boosted in number but minus a boss. The race to succeed Nick Bourne will kick off on May 11th and end on July 14th.
Now for the bit that will make one group member in particular sit up. I'm told that Paul Davies' candidacy for the interim leadership was "the product of progressive forces within the Welsh Conservatives working together".
A sign of things to come, of the direction those forces want things to go, said the same voice. I'm sure Andrew R T Davies will be listening, girding his loins and preparing for a right old fight.
Intriguingly, however many candidates throw their hats into the ring, only two will be put in front of the party membership for their approval.
Should there be more than two nominations, the Tory group in the Assembly will meet on May 25th to whittle the contenders down to the final pair. So no repeat of the three way battle as we saw between Carwyn Jones, Edwina Hart and Huw Lewis back in 2009.