A by-election will be held in Brecon and Radnorshire after 10,005 people signed a petition to remove the constituency’s Conservative MP, Chris Davies after he was convicted of making a false expenses claim in March.
Davies made an “unreserved apology” to his constituents after he was convicted of making a false expenses claim in March for creating fake invoices for pictures in his office. He was fined £1,500 and sentenced to carry out 50 hours of community service.
The Welsh MP is the third to face a recall petition and the second to face a by-election after 19 per cent of the constituency signed the petition, surpassing the ten per cent threshold needed to recall a sitting MP.
Taking responsibility for his actions and confirming his intention to stand for re-election, Davies said: “What happened was my fault and no one else’s”, but that he “looked forward to regaining” the trust of the people of Brecon and Radnorshire.
He has been MP for Brecon and Radnorshire since the 2015 general election, and retained his seat in 2017 with a majority of 8,038. However, his seat is within the county of Powys, where the Brexit Party topped the EU elections last month, and nationwide polls have shown the Conservative vote share in free-fall for months as the Brexit impasse continues.
Labour and the Liberal Democrats have already selected candidates for the by-election, and Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has confirmed it will also be contesting the seat. If Davies loses in the by-election, it would reduce the Conservative/DUP informal coalition to two seats, which would leave parliament in a near constant deadlock.