More bad news to follow the Euro election results for the Liberal Democrats. Senior AM Mick Bates has decided to step down to spend more time with his family and his sheep. The member for Montgomeryshire has announced his plans early to give the party plenty of time to find a suitable successor.
The chair of the sustainability committee will leave behind a proven track record of dealing with rural affairs issues, leading the way on sustainability policy and let's not forget free school milk.
The announcement is said to have nothing to do with the party's election results but instead has been planned for a long time. Whatever the motivation it leaves the party with a headache; trying to fill Mick Bates' considerable shoes will not be a straightforward task. The recent election results can be interpreted as showing that support in Montgomeryshire for the Liberal Democrats is waning, and so the name on the ballot box next time around will be key.
However it is also an opportunity for the party to breathe fresh life into the Assembly group - if they can’t get another AM via electoral results maybe a new face from an old seat will spark some life into the party in Wales.
Budget week coming up.
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