OF WALES & THE WELSH
Greg Lance – Watkins
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We are pleased to welcome Mr Lee Canning to The Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party.
Lee has been a member of the Conservative Party for 17 years and is currently deputy Chairman of The Welsh Conservatives.
Lee was a former chairman with the Tax Payers Alliance Wales (TPA) and also the former chairman of Business for Britain Wales during the 2016 leave campaign.
For many years Lee has actively supported many Conservative candidates throughout Wales, in Council, Assembly and Westminster elections.
We are looking forward to Lee representing The Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party in a key target seat in the upcoming Welsh Assembly elections of 2021.
As a Unionist Lee feels that The Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party is the only Party that supports the UK and our sense of what it means to be British.
The abolition of the Welsh Assembly will save Welsh tax payers £Bns and bring greater prosperity to Wales. With the Welsh Assembly staff and buildings alone wasting over £100m per year, that money could be spent on protecting frontline services and improving Welsh infrastructure.
Lee, 35 moved to Wales 17 years ago for University, where he met his wife Sara and they now have a family together.
Lee is small business owner working with businesses throughout Wales.
‘Abolishing the Assembly will not only strengthen our position in a more dynamic United Kingdom but will also ensure all of us in Wales are freed from the Bureaucrats of Cardiff Bay.’
However here is how the media saw the situation:
Senior Conservative says Welsh party ‘tried to delay’ investigation into Ross England until after the General Election
Lee Canning has quit the party after 17 years and says the top of the party in Wales needs a “clear out”
Lee Canning has quit as deputy chairman of the Welsh Conservatives after alleging the party’s Welsh chairman Byron Davies “wanted to put a stop to” the investigation into Mr England.
Responding to the allegations, Mr Davies said Mr Canning “at no time tried to raise the Ross England issue with me as quoted”, and described his former colleague as a “disgruntled failed Conservative candidate”.
Mr Canning had been a Conservative party candidate for 17 years and been the deputy chairman of the Welsh Conservatives for the last 18 months.
He has now left the party and joined the Abolish the Assembly Party.
There are a combination of reasons, he said, but a key one was the handling of the allegations into Mr England by the party leadership.
Mr England was suspended as the Vale of Glamorgan Assembly candidate because of comments from a judge that he sabotaged a rape trial.
The party has faced repeated questions about what it knew about the issue, and when it knew them.
There have also been questions of Alun Cairns , who is standing again to be the Vale of Glamorgan MP for the party, who was Mr England’s former employee.
An investigation into Mr England’s conduct is ongoing and the Welsh party say it will take “some time”.
Mr Canning says he was at a meeting of the Welsh management board on November 8 which had a single agenda item – to discuss the approach to the General Election.
Instead, Mr England’s conduct, and his former employer Alun Cairns took up most of the time. He says that the Welsh chairman, Byron Davies, asked for no minutes to be taken, despite that being the usual practice and there being someone there whose job was to do so. Asked why, Mr Canning said it was to ensure there was no “paper trail”.
“At that meeting, I was pushing for an investigation to be conducted immediately and to be concluded because we, as a party, didn’t want it to be overshadowing the election.
“It needed to be remedied.
“The chairman wanted to put a stop to it and he said in a few weeks time it will be forgotten about.”
He said Mr Davies was “trying to put it off until after the election”. Mr Canning says he knew Mr England “before politics”.
“What he has done is not tasteful at all.
“It’s something that I couldn’t and wouldn’t support and I think that to sabotage a rape trial is pretty low.
“But it’s one of those things that should have been looked at and who knew about it and who didn’t think it was relevant.”
He said that as Mr England was both an Assembly candidate and paid Conservative member of staff as campaign manager for the Vale of Glamorgan and the Rhondda, it should have been looked at.
“It doesn’t matter who employed him, he was still Alun Cairns’ running mate and was still the campaign manager for the Vale of Glamorgan.”If he was Secretary of State, then the Secretary of State should have known who is running his campaign.”
Mr Canning said that at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester in September, a meeting was held where he tried to address discipline in the party, including other examples from Mr England.”I was aware of instances where he’s been a little bit unsavoury”.
Mr Canning admits he was looked over as a candidate for the snap election over online comments in 2012.
He said comments came to light where he called a female friend a “slag”.”I know some people don’t like the word slag but it was between friends. She’s a family now, I have and we exchange gifts.””I was barred because of that but it’s come to light that other candidates have said worse things.”
But he says that is part of a wider reason.
He said other candidates have been parachuted into seats in a “tick box” exercise.
Comments made public by the Gower candidates Francesca O’Brien and Chris Davies being imposed as Anglesey candidate before dropping out of the race, were examples of mismanagement by the party, he said.
Chris Davies was selected by his local constituency group as candidate for the by-election in August but his selection in Anglesey was made by the central party.
“Ynys Mon was advertised weeks before and we had candidates for that seat and they should have been given due process and say why they deserved to be the candidate but instead it was someone convicted of fraud because it’s institutionalised and the attitude “he was a good mate of mine”.
“I am concerned that the leadership under the current chairman is getting less Conservative.
“What you need in the higher tiers of the Conservatives in Wales is a clear out. We have got Byron for one who I believe is out of touch.”
He said that the party has divided over candidate selection issues, the next steps for devolution, specific incidents but also Brexit.
“I think we need to move away from the referendum but when you step back and look at Cardiff North , Brecon and Radnorshire and Aberconwy, they are target seats and they all have remainers but they’re billed as the next generation of MPs.”
In response to his comments, Lord Davies of Gower, said: “Lee Canning is a disgruntled failed Conservative candidate, and I am saddened that he has taken to the media to vent his frustration.
in the interest of accuracy material in the main text in blue was written by someone other than myself.
When in black text the wording ‘Welsh Language’ means the ‘Language of the peoples of Wales’ and is therefore the majority language ie ‘English’
The ancient language of parts of Wales, varied as it is, as spoken by a tiny minority in Wales is called ‘Welsh’ or ‘the ancient Welsh language’
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