Davies Is Welsh Tories' New Leader

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PRESS ASSOCIATION -- Andrew RT Davies has been announced as the Welsh Conservatives' new leader in the Assembly.

Mr Davies beat Nick Ramsay in the leadership contest in a ballot of around 5,000 party members. He succeeds Nick Bourne, who was forced to stand down after he lost his regional seat in the Welsh General Elections.

The result was delayed by almost three hours, following "verification issues" as well as an "unexpected" number of ballots.

Mr Davies said that as party leader he aimed to fully hold the Labour Government to account and stressed his pride in being a Welshman and unionist.

"We will offer the people of Wales a real alternative to what has been doled out in the past 12 years," he added.

Mr Davies gained 53.1% of votes compared with Mr Ramsay's 46.7% - with the result announced at the Swalec Stadium, Cardiff, just after 2.45pm.

The leadership contest had been forced after former party leader Mr Bourne became a "victim" of his party's success in the May Assembly elections.

Under Wales's hybrid election system, voters chose between a candidate in their constituency and a party for their region. With Conservatives making a gain in the Montgomeryshire seat, it effectively saw them lose the Mid and West Wales regional seat - which was held by Mr Bourne.

Mr Davies will visit Wrexham on his first official duties as Tory leader and plans to have discussions with party colleagues over the coming days to form a Shadow Cabinet.

However, he said his long-term plan is to address "the failures" of the Welsh Government - saying Labour had under-performed on the economy, education and health.