By Matthew Barrett
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Cardiff Councillor Craig Williams has been selected as the Conservative candidate for the Cardiff South and Penarth by-election, which will be held in November to replace Labour MP Alun Michael, who will contest the region's Police and Crime Commissioner election.
Cllr Williams, has represented the Pentyrch division since 2008, and currently serves as the Chairman of the Economy and Culture Scrutiny Committee on Cardiff Council, and represents Cardiff on the Local Government Association. This year he retained his seat with a swing of 11% from Labour and with 54% of the vote. Cllr Williams previously stood in the Welsh Assembly constituency of Cardiff West, where he managed a swing of 8.8% against then-First Minister Rhodri Morgan. He commented on his selection:
"I am thrilled to have been selected as the Welsh Conservative candidate for Cardiff South and Penarth. I am determined to take the fight to Labour over the coming weeks and months. Since being elected onto Cardiff City Council I have put the regeneration and economic prosperity of Cardiff and the surrounding communities on the top of my agenda. I have proven during my tenure that I have the local knowledge, empathy and leadership to represent the people of Cardiff South and Penarth."
Cllr Williams has announced his intention to target the Labour-run Welsh Assembly government in his campaign, and added:
"Unlike other areas of the UK, people in Cardiff South and Wales are reminded on a daily basis what Labour are like in Government. On our doorstep in Cardiff we have a Labour Government in the National Assembly that is unable and unwilling to confront the difficult decisions and challenges the current economic reality presents us with. Voters will have a stark choice, economic stability with a candidate who believes in economic responsibility and fairness or continued confusion with another Labour politician."
The new Welsh Secretary David Jones said:
"Craig’s selection is great news for the people of Cardiff South and Penarth. He has a proven track record of delivering for local people in his role as a councillor at Cardiff City Council and is totally focused on helping to create economic prosperity in these difficult times. I offer him my full support and look forward to campaigning with him."