Page last updated at 11:10 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 12:10 UK

Opponent attacks 'invisible' AM

Alun Davies AM
Alun Davies AM said Trish Law's contributions were woeful

A Labour assembly member has launched a scathing attack on an independent AM after announcing he wants to run against her for her valleys seat.

Mid and West Wales AM Alun Davies wants to stand in Blaenau Gwent, where he was born and raised, in the 2011 elections.

Mr Davies claimed Trish Law was "invisible" who had done "little or nothing" to fight for Blaenau Gwent.

Mrs Law dismissed Mr Davies as "another fly-by-night" while the Tories said the comments left a "nasty taste".

Mr Davies is seeking nomination to be the Labour candidate in Blaenau Gwent in the assembly elections in 2011. A decision will be made by Labour in July.

In a personal statement, he said he had spoken to people in the constituency who have grown angry and frustrated that Mrs Law's promises to fight on behalf of the constituency have been broken.

He said she had hardly been around Cardiff Bay, had been "invisible, especially when she's on her feet", had missed most votes and had "largely done nothing."

"The current incumbent does little or nothing to fight for Blaenau Gwent.

"Her contributions to the Assembly are woeful. She has let down the people of Blaenau Gwent and broken the promises she made.

He warned her: "I'm going to take you on and beat you".

Mr Davies said that he would work with the community, for the community, about the community.

Trish Law
It's in the constituency that I am most needed and where I feel I can make the biggest contribution
Trish Law AM

Labour, he admitted, needed a strategy that was very different from the past. His aim was to rebuild confidence, renew the party's contract with the people of Blaenau Gwent so that one of the poorest areas in Wales got the representation it deserved.

Labour, he said, had to get back on the front foot in the constituency.

Mrs Law held onto her assembly seat in the 2007 elections after winning the by-election following her husband Peter's death in 2006.

She increased her majority in what was once Labour's safest seat in Wales, taking 54% of the vote.

In a statement, Mrs Law said it was interesting Mr Davies' announcement came on the same day that former Blaenau Gwent council leader and her opponent in the 2006 by-election, John Hopkins, quit the Labour Party after 44 years.

Another Labour stalwart, Councillor Lyn Elias, has also resigned from the Labour Party which suggests that Labour in Blaenau Gwent is still in turmoil.

"After John Hopkins came Keren Bender in the 2007 Assembly election. Fewer than one in three voters in Blaenau Gwent voted for her while my share of the poll went up by almost 4% to 54%," she said.

"Evidently she is not putting up again, but Alun Davies is forsaking his Mid and West Wales seat to have a crack at Blaenau Gwent. He'll be another fly by night - but bring him on!"

Mrs Law said that because of the many socio-economic problems in Blaenau Gwent her caseload was immense.

"I spend as much time as I possibly can in Cardiff Bay, but it's in the constituency that I am most needed and where I feel I can make the biggest contribution," she said.

A spokesman for the Conservatives said: "These sort of personal attacks don't sit comfortably with Labour following the departure of Damien McBride and the publication of his nasty e-mails.

"Trish Law is hard working and listened to with respect in the chamber. Alun Davies comments leave a very nasty taste in the mouth and he should reconsider his words."

* Labour have chosen 68-year-old Keith Davies as the party's candidate in the key seat of Llanelli for the 2011 elections. He will be up against Plaid Cymru AM Helen Mary Jones.



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