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Saturday, January 30, 1999 Published at 18:55 GMT


UK Politics

Davies wins Assembly vote

Ron Davies: Received support from his constituents

The former Welsh Secretary Ron Davies has been selected in his Caerphilly constituency as Labour's candidate for the Welsh Assembly elections in May.

His candidacy was approved by 55% of his local Labour party members in a solid endorsement for the disgraced former Cabinet minister.

Mr Davies resigned as Welsh secretary and stood down as a prospective Assembly leader three months ago after an unexplained "incident" on Clapham Common in London.

'Delighted'

Saturday's success has been seen by many as the first step on the road to the 52-year-old's political rehabilitation in the aftermath of the scandal.

Mr Davies said he was "delighted" as he left the Aberdare, Mid-Glamorgan, leisure centre where the votes were counted, accompanied by wife Christina and teenage daughter Angharad.

"This means a great deal to me because I have a unique insight into the Assembly and a very clear view of the challenges and opportunities that the Assembly will present to Wales," he said.

He and other shortlisted candidates explained their views on the Assembly before answering questions at a hustings meeting held at council offices in Caerphilly on Saturday.

'Strong support'

Before entering the meeting he described himself as the "architect" of the Assembly, adding: "I know how it can be used to make things happen for Wales".

Speaking after Mr Davies' selection, President of Caerphilly Labour Party, Elwyn Morgan, said: "We are all very pleased that the right person has been selected. There has been very strong support for Ron both in Caerphilly and in Cynon Valley.

"Ron was the architect of the government's devolution proposals and steered them through parliament and we believe he will do a good job in helping to put the Assembly in operation after the May elections."

Under Labour's equal representation policy, Caerphilly and its "twin" constituency Cynon Valley must select one man and one woman candidate between them.

Mr Davies will next week raise his public profile still further by giving a lecture on the devolution process at a meeting of the Institute of Welsh Affairs in Cardiff.



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