Convicted former Tory MP Chris Davies pulls out of election race after furious backlash
A former Conservative MP who was convicted of expenses irregularities and lost his seat has decided not to stand for the Tories again following an angry backlash.
Chris Davies admitted two charges relating to a false expenses claim in March this year and was then booted out after voters in Brecon and Radnorshire signed a recall petition to oust him.
In a shock move, he was unveiled as the Conservative candidate for the seat of Ynys Mon ahead of the 12 December election.
But in a swift U-turn, the Welsh Conservatives said: "Chris Davies has decided to pull out of the process to select a parliamentary candidate for Ynys Mon following critical comments in the media."
Mr Davies said: "Given the reaction in the media to the idea of me being a candidate, I have decided to pull out of the selection process.
"I would not want to put my wife and family through any more distress."
The withdrawal came amid mounting anger from fellow Conservatives as well as opposition parties.
Angela Burns, Welsh Conservative Assembly Member for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire told BBC Wales: "I thought that today we had reached a nadir in Welsh politics.
"Then I find out that Chris Davies has been imposed as a candidate in Anglesey. You couldn’t make it up."
Plaid Cymru's candidate in the seat, Aled ap Dafydd, also blasted the decision to pick Mr Davies as the Tory candidate, saying: "By imposing a convicted former MP who was found guilty of a false expenses claim as the candidate for the island shows how little they care about Ynys Mon."
And Christine Humphreys, the deputy leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said voters deserved "better than an MP who was rejected by his constituents and has fled his former constituency to seek election somewhere else".
She added: "Over 10,000 people signed the recall petition and decisively rejected Chris Davies at the ballot box in August because they had enough of an MP who put their constituency on the map for all the wrong reasons.
"By selecting Chris Davies to contest Ynys Môn, the Conservatives have demonstrated their utter contempt for the voters of Ynys Môn. This shows they can offer nothing more than an MP who has admitted to providing false information about his expenses claims."
Mr Davies' withdrawal leaves the Conservatives racing to find a replacement candidate in the Labour-held and Leave-supporting seat, which the Tories lost by more than 5,000 votes in 2017.