Brecon and Radnorshire by-election: Meet the candidates

Brecon & Radnorshire votes on Thursday

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Candidates in the Welsh constituency of Brecon & Radnorshire have been preparing for a by-election that could cut the government’s working majority to just one vote.

The by-election was triggered when Conservative MP Chris Davies was removed for making false expenses claims.

However, the Conservative Party selected him to fight to regain the seat.

Plaid Cymru and the Greens have both decided against running a candidate and urged supporters to vote for the Lib Dems, which held the seat between 1997 and 2015.

Polls open on Thursday and the result is expected to be declared at around 3am on Friday.

So who is in the running?

 

Chris Davies - Conservative Party

Chris Davies was removed as the sitting MP when more than 10,000 people signed a recall petition following his conviction in March for faking expense claims.

He admitted submitting two false expenses invoices for photographs costing £700.

He was fined £1,500, ordered to pay £2,500 towards legal costs and told to carry out 50 hours of community service.

Mr Davies has served as the local MP since 2015 and after being reselected for the seat said “there is so much more to do, and I am the right person to do it".

 

Tom Davies - Labour Party

Tom Davies was elected to Brecon Town Council in December 2018, and said the seat has been let down by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats for “far too long”.

“I’m going to take Welsh Labour’s campaign street by street, village by village and town by town because I want to listen to what local people have to say and I want to share Welsh Labour’s positive message for our communities,” he said.

 

Jane Dodds - Liberal Democrats

Jane Dodds is the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and has twice run unsuccessfully for the neighbouring constituency of Montgomeryshire, where she lives.

Brecon & Radnorshire voted 52 per cent to leave the European Union and Ms Dodds has said leaving without a deal could put local farmers out of business.

She has the support of the Lib Dems’ heavy-hitters, with campaign visits from leader Jo Swinson, former leadership contender Sir Ed Davey and high-profile defector Chuka Umunna.

 

Des Parkinson - Brexit Party

Des Parkinson has been travelling around the region in the Party’s teal Brexit bus, which became its own story after the campaign vehicle was abandoned on the side of a highway overnight.

Mr Parkinson said the driver pulled into a lay-by to check the engine for a minor fault, but “misjudged” the kerb height and was forced to leave it there.

In addition to delivering Brexit the retired police chief has pledged to expand local NHS services and stop the spread of wind farms.

 

Liz Phillips - UKIP

Liz Phillips stood for the constituency in 2001 and 2005 and has worked as an assistant to Nigel Farage and Gerard Batten.

She has pledged to ensure Brecon & Radnorshire is “firmly put on the tourist map” and said Britain can “survive quite happily” without the EU.

 

Lady Lily The Pink - Monster Raving Loony Party

Lady Lily The Pink – real name Bernice Benton – runs a local guesthouse and  said she will be “standing (possibly slouching, or leaning) occasionally squatting or kneeling, but not lying” in the by-election.

Her slogan is “if you don’t know what to think, vote Pink!”