Wales politics

Fined farmer tops Tory candidate list for assembly poll

Aled Davies

A farmer recently fined for animal offences has been chosen as the lead Conservative assembly candidate in the Mid and West Wales region in 2016.

Powys opposition group leader Aled Davies was fined more than £2,500 in October after admitting six offences.

Animal health officers found nine sheep carcasses on his farm said to have been dead for two weeks. He also admitted failing to register the death of a cow.

A Tory spokesman said the case was not about animal health or animal welfare.

Labour insisted he should be suspended as a candidate, but he was backed by Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies as one of "an excellent field of candidates in Mid and West Wales".

'Beggars belief'

A Conservative spokeswoman said: "Aled has the backing of the membership of Mid and West Wales as shown by today's results.

"The offences were not related to animal health or animal welfare.

"We have every confidence that, should he be elected, Aled will do an excellent job as an assembly member for Mid and West Wales."

After the count, Aled Davies said: "The Welsh Conservatives are the only alternative, and I will be campaigning hard on the issues that really affect the people of this region - including health, education and the strengthening of the rural economy."

A Welsh Labour spokesman responded: "It beggars belief that the Tories have selected a man that just last month was fined after admitting a string of animal health offences in court."

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