So what happens next in Brecon and Radnorshire?

Now that Conservative MP Chris Davies has been recalled and there will be a by-election in Brecon and Radnorshire, you might be wondering what happens next. Well, this evening he has been selected by the local Conservatives to fight the seat in the by-election despite having been convicted of submitting a fraudulent invoice and almost one in five of his constituents signing a petition to get him sacked.

The message from the Welsh Liberal Democrats is clear – people in Brecon deserve better:

Over 10,000 people signed the recall petition and decisively rejected Chris Davies because they had enough of an MP putting Brecon and Radnorshire on the map for all the wrong reasons.

By adopting Chris Davies again the Conservatives have demonstrated they can offer nothing more than an MP embroiled in controversy. People deserve better.

This by-election is a clear choice between the same old broken politics from the Conservatives, or a chance to demand better for our communities with Jane Dodds and the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

I’ve seen various people saying that it its he Speaker that calls the election and it will definitely be on 25th July.

That is not the case.

This is like any other by-election. It is up to the party who won the seat at the last election to decide when it will take place by moving the writ in the Commons. From the House of Commons website:

If the 10% threshold is reached the petitions officer informs the Speaker of the House of Commons that the recall petition has been successful. On the giving of that notice the seat becomes vacant. A by-election is then required and the recalled may stand as a candidate. The timing of a UK Parliamentary by-election is determined by custom of the House of Commons: the party that previously held the seat will usually decide when to trigger the by-election.

And what is the timescale?

A new Writ is usually issued within three months of the vacancy. There have been a few times when seats remained vacant longer than six months. Seats will be left vacant towards the end of a Parliament. They are then filled at the general election.

If there are many vacant seats by-elections can take place on the same day.

The by-election timetable is between 21 and 27 working days from the issuing of the writ.

If they do that tomorrow, then the by-election will likely take place on 25th July  but they could leave it till after the Summer recess if they wanted.

We shall just have to wait and see.

But whenever it happens, you do need to go if you possibly can. A by-election campaign at full pelt is a sight to behold. You get to see the pinnacle of best practice in our campaigns, you get to enjoy the fantastically busy atmosphere and, in this case, there will be gorgeous scenery.

I am making my plans to go in a couple of weeks’ time. This is not without panic on my part. The last time I went to a by-election, Witney in 2016, I left my husband recovering from what we thought was the Flu. I came back to find him very ill indeed. Within hours he was in hospital where we discovered the Flu was in fact an infection in his heart and he was in hospital for a terrifying 51 days which included open heart surgery. So I did try to persuade the whole family to come down with me and have a nice holiday cottage or something.  They have stuff on so I am going to go on my own. Oh well, once I’m there, I won’t have time to worry.

But, seriously, imagine how amazing it would be to have Jane Dodds elected. She is an absolutely brilliant liberal who, since she became leader has done so much work on tackling issues like exclusion and loneliness. We really need her in our group in the House of Commons.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron’s Musings


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