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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Tory splits

The reason why Conservative AM, David Melding was looking so stressed the other day has become more evident this morning with this article about splits in the Welsh Tory Party over policy.

Firstly, Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb clashed with Conservative Assembly Leader, Nick Bourne, over his group's support for a Bank Holiday on St David's Day. He issued a statement saying, "St David's Day is a unique day in the school calendar and is enormously popular with children as well as their parents and teachers. While making St David's Day a public holiday would be popular with some people, it would probably lead to a drop in the number of opportunities Welsh children have to really learn about their national heritage."

Secondly, there is growing unease within the Tory grassroots about the commitment to introduce proprortional representation for Council elections:

Some activists are suggesting that the party may struggle to get sufficient numbers of volunteers if the manifesto is not altered.

David Fouweather, a councillor and chairman of Newport West Conservatives, said, "I can't get a good number of people out working on the campaign. This is a wet liberal manifesto that they don't want to sell on the doorstep."

It is likely that Nick Bourne will prevail on these issues but it cannot bode well for him if, in the course of doing so, he alienates a large number of his key activists.
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