The Welsh Conservative Party Member of the Senedd for Monmouth, Nick Ramsay has been deselected by Monmouth Conservative Association just days after dropping a legal challenge against them.
The association met on Monday, November 23 to discuss replacing Ramsay as a candidate at the Senedd elections in May.
The meeting came after a petition calling for his deselection was launched by local constituents, and after Ramsay started – and later dropped – legal proceedings.
The local party felt that it was “duty-bound” to consider the move, given the large number of people petitioning. The BBC reported that more than 50 of the 500 local association members had signed the petition.
As a result of the meeting, the incumbent MS will not be put forward as the party’s candidate in the seat at the Senedd elections next May.
“A witch hunt”
In response, Ramsay took Monmouth Conservative Association (MSA) to court, in order to prevent his deselection.
Prior to the legal action, his lawyers called the move to deselect him “unconstitutional”.
On Saturday, November 21, however, the MS withdrew his legal challenge, and has now been ordered to pay legal costs of more than £20,000.
The decision to withdraw the legal action, Mr Ramsay says, was taken after the local party “changed their position at the eleventh hour”, further adding that he is the victim of a “witch hunt”.
“I still do not know what I have done and that has still not been disclosed. There are a few bad apples who I believe have poisoned the barrel,” he said.
MCA added that it was “delighted” with the ruling.
It has been reported that Ramsay’s relationship with the local association had been deteriorating for some time and had become further strained throughout the course of 2020.
One of many controversies
Nick Ramsay was first elected as the Member of the Senedd for Monmouth at the 2007 Welsh Assembly elections.
He has faced several controversies since taking office, most of which have laid the foundations for the calls for his eventual deselection.
In January 2020, he was suspended from the Welsh Conservative Party after he was arrested on New Year’s Day.
In response to his suspension, which continued after he was released without charge, the former driving instructor also launched legal proceedings against the Welsh Conservative Party.
He was eventually re-admitted to the Senedd party group and subsequently dropped his legal proceedings.
Earlier, in 2014, a complaint was submitted after Ramsay was reported to be slurring his speech during a Senedd debate. No further action was taken at the time.
A “devolution revolution”
The Welsh Conservative Party currently holds 11 seats in the Senedd and is hoping to increase their share at the 2020 Senedd Elections, promising a “devolution revolution”.
Leader Paul Davies said in July that the party is “on a mission to end the sluggishness of government and make sure that revolution is one of pace, one of structure, and one of focus to actually deliver for the people of Wales.”
In the latest Welsh Political Barometer, The Welsh Conservatives are projected to pick up 16 seats in the Senedd, an increase of five.
Whether their gains will come to fruition, and who Nick Ramsay’s replacement will be, are still to be decided.twitter Follow @gairrhyddpol for all of the latest updates from the world of politics. Politics Morgan Perry