Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Bye bye Blaenau Gwent

Farewell to the Blaenau Gwent by-election campaign.
Independents Dai Davies and Trish Law thumped Labour in a surprising double victory.
They took up their seats in Westminster and the Assembly yesterday – and their welcomes could not have been more different.
Mr Davies's entry to the Commons was reportedly greeted with Labour cries of “There's a traditional socialist” and “Enjoy it while you can”.
Meanwhile new AM Mrs Law, who took up her seat exactly 10 weeks after it was vacated by the death of her husband Peter, was applauded when she strolled into the Senedd chamber.
AMs appeared to be climbing over each other to welcome her. Deputy Presiding Officer John Marek sent out a notice advising hacks that he would be “on the front steps. (Not Senedd)” at 11am to meet Mrs Law.
Not wanting to be outdone, his boss Lord Elis-Thomas fired off an email 30 minutes later announcing he would be “on the steps of the Senedd at 1.45” to escort the new AM into plenary.
How ironic that her arrival now gives the Assembly more female than male members. It was a row about an all-women shortlist that prompted the late Mr Law to leave the Labour Party in the first place.

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