Wales politics

Writ for Brecon and Radnorshire by-election aborted says Speaker

John Bercow
Image caption John Bercow said plans for the writ had been "aborted"

Plans to move the writ for the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election on Tuesday were "aborted", the Commons Speaker has confirmed.

John Bercow said he was "not aware" when the Conservative chief whip Julian Smith will kick start the process.

A by-election was triggered after 10,005 people signed a petition to remove Tory MP Chris Davies.

The writ effectively sets the timescale for the by-election, and is moved by the party that holds the seat.

A Plaid Cymru source said the Conservative Chief Whip Julian Smith told the party the writ will now be moved on Thursday.

Mr Smith wrote to opposition parties on Monday advising them he would move the writ on Tuesday - triggering a by-election in 21 to 27 days time.

If it had gone ahead, the by-election would have taken place on 25 July or 1 August.

There was speculation aired in the Commons on Wednesday that the Tories did not want it on the 25 July because is the first full day for the new prime minister - although Powys Council is not thought to want the date either because it clashes with the Royal Welsh Show.

Image caption Liz Saville Roberts said Powys council cofirmed it had not delayed the process

Mr Bercow told MPs that plan was "aborted", and added: "Instead the intention, I was advised at that stage, approximately 24 hours ago, would be to move the writ today [Wednesday].

"However I was informed earlier that the writ would not be moved today."

He added that he was "not aware" of when the writ will be moved.

The issue was raised in the Commons by Plaid Cymru's Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts.

She told MPs: "It was claimed that there were issues with Powys Council and specifically the returning officer was delaying the process.

"Powys Council confirmed within a couple of hours this was not the case."

Mr Davies has been re-selected for the contest. He is likely to face Jane Dodds, Welsh Liberal Democrat leader, and Labour's Tom Davies in the election.

The Brexit Party is also expected to stand.

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