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DAVIES LOSS HURTS WALES

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Welsh council leaders fear for the future of the Welsh assembly if former Welsh secretary Ron Davies does not survi...
Welsh council leaders fear for the future of the Welsh assembly if former Welsh secretary Ron Davies does not survive as leader-elect of the assembly Labour group.

Mr Davies' speedy resignation as a member of the Cabinet following the events of Monday night left it unlikely he could survive to become first secretary of the assembly.

Bridgend CBC leader Jeff Jones, a shortlisted assembly candidate, said the whole matter was a disaster for the assembly and for Mr Davies personally.

His views were echoed by Russell Roberts, another Labour candidate and leader of Rhondda Cynon Taff CBC: 'His guidance, his experience - both in drawing up the legislation and in the discussions he has had within the Westminster Cabinet - and his leadership will be badly missed.'

Harry Jones, who as leader of the Welsh Local Government Association has worked very closely with Mr Davies, rued the loss of 'a good friend to local government'.

The key issue for the Welsh Labour Party now will be whether the Welsh electorate will be prepared to forgive Mr Davies. The party is already concerned at predictions that proportional voting will not give it an outright majority on the assembly.

Mr Davies won the assembly leadership in a contest with fellow Labour MP Rhodri Morgan.

MEP Wayne David put his name forward but withdrew in favour of Mr Davies.

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