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Nick Ramsay withdraws from Monmouthshire selection race

MONMOUTHSHIRE will have a new representative in the Senedd after May’s elections.

Former Conservative frontbencher and one-time leadership contender Nick Ramsay withdrew from selection for the seat just before a meeting in which he faced a three-way run-off for the seat.

Departure narrows Conservative group

Mr Ramsay has represented Monmouthshire since 2007.

His departure from the Senedd is the fourth by a sitting Conservative MS from the moderate wing of the Conservatives. He follows Angela Burns, Suzy Davies, and David Melding out of the Senedd at the next election.

Mr Ramsay told BBC Wales: “I decided it was for the best for everyone to withdraw from the selection process.

“My prime focus remains to represent the Monmouth constituency and dealing with the pandemic.
“I’ll now consider what is best for my constituents and family over the coming weeks and make a fuller statement in due course.”

A turbulent career

In recent times, Nick Ramsay has had a difficult relationship both with the Conservative Party and some of his local Party’s members.

An attempt to exclude him from the Senedd group ended up with him taking the Party to Court.
When the Monmouthshire constituency Conservative Party tried to deselect him as its candidate in November 2020, he sued the constituency association.

Nick Ramsay’s career in the Senedd has occasionally hit the headlines for the wrong reasons.

In 2014, he was accused of having been drunk during a debate in the Senedd Chamber. Presiding Officer, Dame Rosemary Butler, did not support the claim.

In January 2020, he was suspended from the Conservative Party and his parliamentary group after a “police incident” at his home. Mr Ramsay was released without charge.

Notwithstanding those issues, Mr Ramsay was ever-present on the Conservative front bench in the Senedd.

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As Chair of the Senedd’s Public Accounts Committee, Nick Ramsay oversaw several major investigations into the Welsh Government’s handling – and mishandling – of tens of millions of pounds of public money.

Until Andrew RT Davies became the parliamentary leader in January 2021, he was the Shadow Minister for Finance.

Monmouthshire County Councillor Peter Fox will be the Conservative candidate for the constituency seat in May,