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Thursday, 10 October, 2002, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Demoted AM could quit Tories
Peter Rogers AM
Tory AM Peter Rogers has threatened to leave the party after being ranked seventh in a list of prospective candidates for his own seat in next year's Welsh Assembly elections.

Mr Rogers, who represents north Wales, has said he would not join another party but could stand as an independent candidate.

Nigel Evans
Nigel Evans has been criticised

He also attacked Shadow Welsh Secretary Nigel Evans, accusing him of not understanding what goes on in Wales because he sits for the English constituency of Lancashire.

The public nature of the row will not please Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith, who has been trying to unite the party at this week's Bournemouth conference.

Mr Duncan Smith, who will visit south Wales next week to launch a plan for public services, has been criticised for not mentioning the Welsh Assembly elections during an "impromptu speech" to AMs.

Mr Rogers said he was "shell-shocked and wounded" when the party's north Wales regional list appeared last week.

"The party have cast me aside," he said.


I thought I might have dropped a place or two, but I am shell-shocked

Peter Rogers AM

"They have every right to do it but I don't think they needed to humiliate me in the way that they have done."

Flintshire farmer Brynle Williams, who led the fuel price protests nearly two years ago, topped the list.

Twenty seats within the Welsh Assembly - a third of the total number of AMs - are decided by proportional representation using regional lists.

The system gave the Tories their only seats in north Wales at the 1999 elections.

'Shell-shocked'

To retain his seat in the assembly, Peter Rogers knows he must now defeat Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones.

After the list was published, Mr Rogers said the drop to seventh place was "unbelievable".

"I can't be very popular in my own party. I have had problems with the association," he added.

"I thought I might have dropped a place or two, but I am shell-shocked.

He said the development was "not the end of the world" and he would aim to go out with his head held high.

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BBC Wales' David Cornock
"The Tories have not been able to escape all their problems"
See also:

10 Oct 02 | Wales
16 Jan 02 | Wales
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