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Wednesday, May 26, 1999 Published at 09:17 GMT 10:17 UK


UK Politics

Conservative assembly members


The Conservative Party's nine members of the National Assembly for Wales are:

Nicholas Bourne The former Conservative chief spokesman in Wales, was beaten in the Tories' leadership contest by Rod Richards. He had previously led the unsuccessful "Just Say No" campaign against Welsh devolution during the 1997 referendum, and was seen as the more conciliatory of the two potential leaders. Standing for Brecon and Radnor as the constituency candidate, Mr Bourne was beaten by Lib Dem candidate Kirsty Williams. A professor of law and a barrister, Mr Bourne, aged 57, stood at the 1997 General Election in Worcester. As one of the Conservatives' nine AMs, Mr Bourne will have an influence on Conservative policy on the economy, health and constitutional issues.

Alun Cairns One of the youngest Tory AMs, Alun Cairns is the Conservatives spokesman on the economy in Wales and regional policy co-ordinator for the South Wales West region. The 28-year-old Welsh speaker is a bank employee and business development consultant and he stood for the Conservatives in Gower at the 1997 General Election. A former deputy chairman for Wales' Young Conservatives, Mr Cairns works for the TSB bank, and he entered the assembly as a list member for South Wales West..

David Davies Mr Davies has the distinction of being the only Tory to get a first-past-the-post seat at the assembly elections when he won Monmouthshire. Mr Davies, who had previously fought Bridgend in the general election, won Monmouthshire, which has been traditional Conservative territory, with a narrow majority in the assembly elections. A prominent 'No' campaigner in Newport during the referendum, he works in his family's tea importing business. Born in 1970, his interests include health, education, transport, and ensuring a cost-effective assembly. An outspoken critic of policies to advance the Welsh language, he denounced what he called the threat of "creeping bilingualism" soon after his election to the assembly.

Glyn Davies The Conservative list member for Mid and West Wales emerged briefly during the assembly election campaign as a critic of the Tory leader Rod Richards' use of the term "language apartheid" to try to reopen controversy relating to the Welsh language. The 55-year-old principal of a livestock farming company has held the role of chairman of the Development Board for Rural Wales. As one of the Tories' AMs, he can be seen as a representative of traditional rural Welsh Conservatism. Mr Davies is also a former member of the Welsh Development Agency and Wales Tourist Board. He previously fought the Montgomery seat for the Conservatives at the 1997 General Election and is keen on issues such as sport and the countryside.

William Graham The 49-year-old chartered surveyor who has a family practice in Newport is a Tory list AM for South Wales East. The former leader of the Conservative Group in Newport, Mr Graham has experience as a councillor with Newport Borough Council and Gwent City Council. He is a member of numerous public and voluntary bodies and is likely to play a role in advising his party on issues such as local government finance.

David Melding One of two Conservative AMs in South Wales Central, Mr Melding is manager of Carers National Association, Wales and a former deputy director of the Welsh Centre for International Affairs. The 36-year-old has previously stood as a Tory candidate at general elections for Cardiff Central (1997) and Blaenau Gwent (1992) and has special interests in social policy, health and education. Educated in Cardiff and Virginia USA, Mr Melding is also governor of a special school.

Jonathan Morgan Mr Morgan is the youngest assembly member at just 24. He works as a European officer with Coleg Glan Hafren, and is a list AM for South Wales Central. With experience working with the European Social Fund Secretariat, Mr Morgan has also stood as a parliamentary candidate for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney. In 1998, he was appointed as education adviser to the Welsh Conservative Party and has interests in policy matters such as Europe, education and local government. Among Welsh Tories, he has been one of those most prepared to see devolution as an opportunity rather than a threat.

Rod Richards The leader of the Conservatives in the assembly, stood at the elections as both a constituency and list candidate in his former Westminster seat of Clwyd West. He lost to Labour's Alun Pugh in the first instance, but is now installed as the Conservatives' assembly spokesman thanks to the proportional representation system which ensured him a list seat. Mr Richards was previously the Westminster MP for Clwyd West, but lost the seat at the 1997 General Election. He had also been a Welsh Office minister but resigned that post due to allegations about his private life. The former army officer and Welsh-language broadcaster has earned a reputation as a combative politician, and has courted the antagonism of both Labour and Plaid Cymru opponents. During the assembly elections he broke the carefully-constructed recent consensus not to use the Welsh language as a political football and alleged that the Plaid Cymru-run Gwynedd council operated a policy of linguistic apartheid. Since entering the assembly, he made an early mark in the chamber, calling for the 17m new headquarters budget to be spent on a new hospital.

Peter Rogers The 59-year-old Anglesey farmer is a prominent member of the Welsh farmers' protest over export bans in 1998. A keen campaigner on agriculture and rural life issues, he has spent his working life as a farm manager and as a sales manager. Mr Rogers is a vice-president of the Ynys Mon Conservative Association and a magistrate.



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