General election 2019: Chris Davies to stand for Tories

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Chris Davies lost his seat in Brecon and Radnorshire after he was convicted of a false expenses claim

A former MP who lost his seat after he was convicted of a false expenses claim has been selected by the Conservatives to stand in the general election.

Chris Davies lost his Brecon and Radnorshire seat after 10,005 people signed a recall petition.

He stood again but lost a by-election to the Liberal Democrats and will now contest the Anglesey seat of Ynys Mon.

Welsh Conservative chairman Byron Davies said Mr Davies “must now be allowed to move on”.

Mr Davies admitted two charges of a false expenses claim in March after trying to split the cost of £700 worth of pictures between two office budgets by creating fake invoices, when he could have claimed the amount by other means.

He made an “unreserved apology”, was ordered to complete 50 hours of unpaid work and was fined £1,500.

Angela Burns, Welsh Conservative AM for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, referring to events surrounding independent politician Neil McEvoy, said: “I thought that today we had reached a nadir in Welsh politics.”

She claimed that Mr Davies had been imposed by the party: “You couldn’t make it up!”

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Chris Davies had been MP since 2015 but was unseated by a petition after admitting submitting two false expenses invoices for photographs

Another Conservative source in Wales said it was a “surprising choice, given the experience in Brecon and Radnorshire” and the chances for the party in the seat were slimmer than yesterday: “It is inexplicable.”

But Welsh Conservatives chairman, Lord Davies of Gower, said: “Chris made a mistake and has paid the price. He must now be allowed to move on. The details of his selection are an internal party matter.”

Labour has selected Mary Roberts for the 12 December poll, while Plaid Cymru has picked Aled ap Dafydd.

Mr ap Dafydd said: “This is unbelievable from the Tories. By imposing a convicted former MP who was found guilty of a false expenses claim as the candidate for the island shows how little they care about Ynys Mon.

“This makes a mockery of the people of the island.”

The Brexit Party intends to stand Helen Jenner.

Deputy leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Baroness Christine Humphreys, said the Conservatives “have demonstrated their utter contempt” for Ynys Mon voters.

She added: “This shows they can offer nothing more than an MP who has admitted to providing false information about his expenses claims.”

Labour candidate Mary Roberts said the people of the constituency “deserve better”.

“It’s insulting to the people of Ynys Mon for the Conservatives to now parachute him in as a parliamentary candidate,” she added.

The summer by-election cut the Conservative working majority to just one when Jane Dodds overturned Mr Davies’s 8,038 majority to beat Conservative Chris Davies by 1,425 votes.