Just days after losing his seat, Tory MP convicted for faking expenses reselected by party to stand in by-election
Former Conservative MP Chris Davies has been selected by the party to fight for the same parliamentary seat he lost following a recall petition triggered by his conviction for faking expenses claims.
More than 10,000 people in the Welsh constituency of Brecon and Radnorshire signed a petition to remove the Tory MP earlier this year after he admitted submitting two false expenses invoices for nine photographs costing £700 to decorate his new office.
Convicted in March, Mr Davies was fined £1,500, ordered to pay £2,500 towards legal costs and told to carry out 50 hours of community service.
Local officials confirmed the 51-year-old would stand again as the Tory candidate for the forthcoming by-election following a vote of party members held in Talgarth on Sunday night.
But despite receiving a court sentence, Mr Davies was legally entitled to stand in the by-election to replace himself.
Yesterday Conservative members in Brecon and Radnorshire confirmed they have re-selected Mr Davis on a Tory ticket.
Thanking members today, Mr Davies said: “A lot has been achieved over the past four years, but there is so much more to do, and I am the right person to do it.”
Local Tory chairman Peter Weavers said: “Chris is local, he knows the area, he knows the constituents, knows the issues and problems we face, and that matters.”
The Lib Dems will now throw the kitchen sink at the seat, which they held from 1997 to 2015, in a bid to overturn the MP’s 8,038 majority.
Mr Davies, who held the seat since 2015, insisted he was “the right person” for the contest. “I would like to thank members of my local association for supporting me, and putting their faith in me once again,” he said.
The leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats , Jane Dodds, will stand and claimed it was a “golden opportunity”.
The Brexit Party will also hope to profit from the Tories’ existential crisis over Brexit.
Labour trailed in third place in Brecon with 7,335 votes in 2017, to the Tories’ 20,081 and Lib Dems’ 12,043.
The by-election will be held towards the end of July at the earliest – with timing overseen by the Tory whips.
The shamed Tory was booted out of office, triggering the by-election, after losing a recall petition in his Welsh seat.
Some 10,005 people signed a petition – almost double the 5,303 (10%) threshold needed.
The petition was triggered by a criminal conviction of giving false information for his Westminster expenses.