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Pembrokeshire councillor to stand for Conservatives in new Ceredigion Preseli seat

Aled Thomas has been selected as the Conservative candidate for the new Ceredigion Preseli Westminster seat (Pic: Pembrokeshire County Council/ Boundary Commission for Wales)

A FOURTH candidate in the battle for the new Westminster seat of Ceredigion Preseli has been announced, with a Pembrokeshire Conservative county councillor throwing his hat into the ring.

The new Ceredigion Preseli constituency joins parts of north Pembrokeshire – including Crymych and Maenclochog – with neighbouring Ceredigion.

The new constituency takes effect automatically from the next scheduled General Election, following a Westminster vote to cut the number of Welsh MPs from 40 to 32.

Candidates announced so far are Plaid Cymru’s Ben Lake – who has represented Ceredigion in Westminster since 2017, Liberal Democrat Mark Williams, formerly the MP for Ceredigion from 2005- 2017, and Welsh Labour’s Jackie Jones.

The Welsh Conservatives have now selected their candidate for the Ceredigion-Preseli seat, Cllr Aled Thomas, Welsh Conservative Group county councillor for Johnston.

Cllr Thomas said: “”I am truly honoured that Welsh Conservative members of the new Ceredigion Preseli constituency have put their trust in me to represent them at the next general election.

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“Being schooled wholly in Welsh at Ysgol Y Preseli and working as an agronomist across Ceredigion has given me a strong affiliation to the constituency and its associated issues.

“Labour and Plaid Cymru have badly let down rural communities in North Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion with their Senedd policies, and I cannot stand by and let further decline happen.

“The pain and worry that farmers and their children feel on a daily basis in this uncertain time, is the same pain and worry my brother and I feel for the future of our farm.

“I’m looking forward to getting out on the doorstep, talking to people and championing rural issues over the coming weeks and months.”

Fellow hopefuls for the seat have previously outlined what they intend to bring to the table.

Ben Lake said: “My priorities were I to be elected as the Member of Parliament for Ceredigion Preseli are clear – a fair deal for rural communities, investment in infrastructure and increased funding for public services, and a thriving, sustainable economy that has the needs of communities rather than those of large corporations as its focus.”

Ceredigion Preseli hopeful Ben Lake (Pic: Ben Lake)

Liberal Democrat Mark Williams said: “I too am looking forward to putting forward my party’s message on the doorsteps of Preseli, and across Ceredigion, not least our measures to help people with the cost-of-living crisis, and promote the agricultural sector. There is a battle for hearts and minds across our new constituency, and I believe I have the energy and experience to win it.”

Ceredigion Preseli hopeful Mark Williams (Pic: Mark Williams)

Welsh Labour’s Jackie Jones said: “We desperately need a Labour government in Westminster and a strong voice for Ceredigion Preseli.

Ceredigion Preseli hopeful Jackie Jones (Pic: Jackie Jones)

After 13 years of the Tories’ mismanagement of the economy, prevalent corruption and neglect we’re all dealing with the cost of food in our shops up, the cost of fuel up and energy prices still sky-high.”

The new constituency has the unusual situation of part of it currently occupied, to the north, by Plaid Cymru, and, to the south, part of the current Conservative-held Preseli Pembrokeshire.

The latter seat, occupied by Tory MP Stephen Crabb, is to disappear; Mr Crabb standing in the adjoining new seat of Mid and South Pembrokeshire.

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