Wales politics

Two Conservative Welsh Assembly members seek Westminster seats

Darren Millar
Image caption Darren Millar joined the Welsh Assembly in the 2007 election

Two Conservative AMs are seeking selection for the next Westminster general election.

Janet Finch-Saunders and Darren Millar want to stand in Aberconwy and Clwyd West respectively - where there are two Tory vacancies.

If they were selected and successful at the polls, which are yet to be agreed by MPs, it would trigger two assembly by-elections in north Wales.

The Welsh Conservative group in the assembly was asked to comment.

The two AMs, who want to stand in seats where they are already elected to the assembly, are the latest in a line of Tory AMs who have sought to swap Cardiff Bay for Westminster.

The current Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns, Monmouth MP David Davies, Eddisbury MP Antoinette Sandbach, former Gower MP Byron Davies and Clwyd West's David Jones were all former AMs.

Image caption Janet Finch-Saunders has been an AM since 2011

Ex-Brexit minister Mr Jones is standing down at the next election, while former Welsh minister Guto Bebb said he would not stand again as a Tory candidate for Aberconwy before he had the whip withdrawn from him for rebelling on Brexit.

Mr Finch-Saunders, who is Aberconwy AM, said: "The United Kingdom and Wales voted to leave the European Union and I want to be at the heart of Parliament responsible for delivering on democracy."Through my role as an AM I am continually championing the best interests of constituents and businesses, but believe in the current political climate that I could achieve even more for Aberconwy in London."

Mr Millar, who is a chief whip to Welsh Conservative assembly leader Paul Davies, said Mr Jones's shoes "will be difficult to fill" but he hopes local Tory party members will give him the opportunity to do that.

"I have concluded that I would be the best candidate to defeat the Labour Party in Clwyd West at the next general election".

Both will need to be selected by their local parties before standing for the Conservatives.

The party would face defending a majority of just 754 votes from the 2016 assembly election, if a by-election was triggered in Aberconwy.

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