Brecon by-election sparked by conviction will go ahead on August 1
A by-election sparked by the conviction of a former Tory MP will go ahead just one week after the new prime minister takes over.
The Brecon and Radnorshire seat is up for grabs due to the successful recall petition of Chris Davies following his conviction for faking expenses claims.
The paperwork was expected to be lodged today, but the Labour Whips account tweeted there had been a delay: “Contrary to reports, the writ to hold the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election is not moved today.”
However, the Press Association can confirm the by-election should go ahead on August 1, and understands the delay was because the returning officer said the rules stated it was too early to move the motion.
A Downing Street source said the paperwork would be moved “at a later date” and insisted the vote would definitely be held on August 1.
Downing Street has also confirmed the new prime minister will take his place on the afternoon of July 24, following Theresa May’s final PMQs.
“We would expect the transition to the new prime minister to take place on the Wednesday afternoon, after Prime Minister’s Questions,” Mrs May’s official spokesman said.
This means the by-election will be one of the first electoral tests for the new prime minister to handle.
Mr Davies was sacked as MP for Brecon and Radnorshire on Friday following a recall petition – and the Liberal Democrats, the Brexit Party, and Labour have announced they will contest the seat.
However, Mr Davies has been selected again by the Conservative Party to fight for the parliamentary seat he lost after more than 10,000 constituents signed a petition to remove him.
Following the decision, the 51-year-old who has held the seat since 2015, said he was “the right person” for the contest.
Chairman of Brecon and Radnorshire Conservatives Peter Weavers said: “Chris is local, he knows the area, he knows the constituents, knows the issues and problems we face, and that matters.
“Chris is not simply a one-issue wannabe politician, as his record shows. He has our full backing.”
But Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery said: “Selecting the same man who voters sacked because he was convicted for fiddling his expenses shows the Tories’ contempt for the people of our country.
“The two candidates vying to be the next prime minister have failed this early test of leadership, and proved again that the Conservative Party is in chaos.”
Mr Davies was convicted in March after he admitted submitting two false expenses invoices for nine photographs costing £700 to decorate his new office.
He was fined £1,500, ordered to pay £2,500 towards legal costs and told to carry out 50 hours of community service.