PAUL Davies is the new leader of the Welsh Conservative group in the assembly.

The announcement was made this morning, following a ballot of members, at Ffos Las Racecourse, Kidwelly.

Speaking after the result, the AM for Preseli Pembrokeshire, said: “I am humbled to have won the support of so many MPs, AMs, Councillors, activists and grassroots supporters from across Wales.

“This campaign leaves the Welsh Conservative Party in a stronger position having had this period of debate, but most importantly, I am proud that this campaign has been entirely positive and based on the issues that matter.”

About his leadership rival, he said: “Suzy Davies fought an optimistic and forward-looking campaign, and I look forward to working closely with her, and the rest of the Welsh Conservative team, over the coming months and years.

“By working together as a united party and offering a coherent vision of what our country can achieve, the Welsh Conservatives are Wales’ best hope of ending a generation of uninterrupted Labour rule in Cardiff Bay.”

The declaration was made by the Chairman of the Welsh Conservatives, Byron Davies. He said: “I’d like to thank both Paul and Suzy for their exemplary campaigns. They worked hard, stayed focused and remained positive throughout.

“With Paul as our new group leader in the assembly, we can now get on with the business of holding Welsh Labour to account and speaking up for the people of Wales as the only real credible alternative for government.’

Suzy Davies, AM for South Wales West, said she was disappointed by the result, but pledged her support for the new leader.

She said: “The prize here is much bigger than this contest – it is a Wales for the future, not a Wales of the past.  I congratulate Paul and wish him well. He has my personal support in our march forward.

She went on:  I am profoundly grateful to those who voted for me but I know they understand, even in a competition like this, we are all on the same side.  And we need to be if Wales is to see that life beyond Labour is worth fighting for.”

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