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Wednesday, September 15, 1999 Published at 20:28 GMT 21:28 UK


UK: Wales

Richards loses bid for Westminster

Rod Richards talks of his "disappointment" as he leaves the executive meeting

Former Conservative leader in the Assembly Rod Richards has failed to win the candidature for the traditionally safe seat of Clwyd West.

In a dramatic outcome, Mr Richards, who is Assembly Member for North Wales, was not included in a final shortlist of three hopefuls.

The 20-strong party executive, meeting in Abergele in north Wales, later announced that 47-year-old Jimmy James from Wellingborough, Northamptonshire had been chosen.

Former army major

A former army major, Mr James is now a charity fund-raising consultant.

He left the army in 1990 as a major and fought the Bolsover seat in 1992 and the Staffordshire South-East by-election more recently.

Mr Richards, 52, held the Clwyd West seat - currently held by Labour's Gareth Thomas - in Westminster for five years.

He lost the seat in the 1997 and failed to win the corresponding National Assembly seat in the elections in May this year

He made his bid to fight a general election campaign there weeks after he resigned as Tory Assembly leader to fight a criminal charge of assault.

"Disappointing"

"Obviously it is disappointing," he said as he left the meeting.

"The executive has taken a decision and that's a matter for them. It's naturally disappointing for me.

"I am a member of the Assembly and I shall continue to work for in the Assembly for my constituents. I shall do my best for them as I have always done so."





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