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6406/21/2019 11:36
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Welsh Tory MP unseated after petition
Welsh Tory MP unseated after petition

A by-election will be held in Brecon and Radnorshire after 10,005 people signed a petition to remove the constituency's Conservative MP, Chris Davies.

Mr Davies had been .

A total of 5,303 names were needed to trigger a fresh poll.

Mr Davies is the third MP to face a recall petition and the second to be unseated through the process, following Fiona Onasanya in Peterborough.

Recall petitions are launched for a number of reasons including when MPs are convicted of providing false information about their expenses.

Mr Davies' conviction related to when he was setting up his constituency office following the 2015 general election.

He had tried to split the cost of £700 worth of photographs between two office budgets by creating fake invoices, when he could have claimed the amount by other means.

The politician had made an "unreserved apology" following his sentencing at Southwark Crown Court in April, when .

Mr Davies has been MP for Brecon and Radnorshire since the 2015 general election, where he beat incumbent Liberal Democrat Roger Williams with the constituency's largest majority since 1983.

In 2017 .

The constituency is within the county of Powys, where the .

Liberal Democrat prospective candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire, and the party's Welsh leader, Jane Dodds said: "Thousands of residents across Brecon and Radnorshire have taken the chance to demand better than a Westminster politics that fails to take their concerns seriously."

A spokesman for Welsh Labour said: "The recall result is another huge blow to Chris Davies' credibility to serve as Member of Parliament. This is a mess all of his making."

He said the Tories "must not drag their feet" and call "an immediate by-election".

What happens next?

It will be for the Conservatives to kick-start the next stage of the process - known as "moving the writ" - by making a request to the House of Commons Speaker. This usually happens within three months of a vacancy arising.

Once MPs have agreed the writ is issued to the constituency's returning officer.

The by-election is then held within 21 to 27 days from the issuing of the writ.

The executive of the local Brecon and Radnorshire Conservative party is expected to meet over the weekend to discuss whether Mr Davies will stand.

It will then make a recommendation to the party's constituency members. If they decide to open the selection up, a process to find a new candidate will begin.

The Liberal Democrats and Labour have already selected candidates. The Brexit Party will also be taking part.

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