Election time is nearing and it is not without its controversies before the first votes are even cast. Welsh Conservative chiefs are being accused of ‘closing ranks and bullying’ members in a selection row in one of the party’s main target seats.
They’re accused of blocking local hopefuls and trying to impose a shortlist of two candidates on activists in Bridgend, just days after Theresa May visited the constituency.
Party activists allege that the rules simply haven’t been followed and that instead of reviewing their decision and listening to the local party membership, the Party are closing ranks, bullying and threatening. It is alleged that the same is happening in Newport West with the Conservatives
Llanelli Online has also received correspondence today, Monday (May 1) alleging that the selection process for the Plaid Cymru candidate for MP in Llanelli was also subject to a last minute change following a secret meeting of the constituency where Leanne Wood was in attendance. Political correspondent for ITV Cymru Wales Adrian Masters reporting on the Tory row says: This isn’t the first and probably won’t be the last selection row as parties race against time to choose candidates to contest the election on June 8th.
Masters says: Plaid Cymru’s selection of business owner Mari Arthur to fight for the party in Llanelli has caused concerns in the Llanelli constituency.
He goes on to claim: It has emerged that she (Mari Arthur) came second in number of votes in a hustings but the winner, a popular local activist Sean Rees, was ruled ineligible to stand by Plaid Cymru party bosses.
Llanelli Online attended the meeting at Glenalla Hall on Thursday (Apr 27) having heard that a Plaid Cymru meeting was taking place with Leanne Wood in attendance. When we arrived we were told that we were not allowed in and that it was a private meeting. When we asked what the meeting was about we were told ‘We have been sworn to secrecy’.
Llanelli Online has written to Plaid Cymru to seek clarification on the selection process for the Llanelli candidate. We will revise this article when we receive that response.
Llanelli has been tipped as one of the 5 seats Plaid Cymru stand to gain. The Llanelli candidate is Mari Arthur, a business woman originally from Trimsaran. On her business website she is described as:
An experienced marketing and business strategist having worked in a number of private and public sectors. Mari has business development, PR, sales, marketing, events, design, project and account management experience and has worked in a number of industries including education and new technology.
Previous to joining the Cynnal Cymru team Mari managed a marketing consultancy and has worked regularly with organisations in the Far East, Middle East and Russia on business development and links with Wales.
Since 2010 Mari has established two limited companies in Cardiff employing over 30 staff. Mari has not only launched and grown her own companies but has advised and supported other organisations and start-ups on business resilience and sustainability.
Having lived in Cardiff for 14 years Mari arrived via Carmarthen, Aberystwyth and Llanystumdwy but is originally from Trimsaran.