THE Monmouth Conservative Association has responded to claims made by Monmouth MS Nick Ramsay in his resignation from the Conservative Party.

Mr Ramsay announced he had resigned from the Welsh Conservative Party and Welsh Conservative group in the Senedd, a position he has held since 2007.

Monmouth Conservative Association chairman Nick Hacket Pain said that Mr Ramsay's membership of their association has also been terminated.

In his resignation statement, Mr Ramsay said he had become “increasingly disillusioned” with the party’s “movement away from the centre-ground of UK politics.”

Responding, Mr Hacket Pain said Mr Ramsay's claims were "difficult to believe given the relatively liberal tendencies of the prime minister".

Mr Hacket Pain also denied Mr Ramsay's claims of "a bullying culture emanating from some elements of the party”.

Claiming this amounted to "a veiled stab at the association", Mr Hacket Pain said: “He cites a bullying culture which, I contend, is entirely unfounded and inaccurate. We are a transparent and democratic Association that works locally for the cause of Conservatism.”

He added: Having stated that he will now stand for the Monmouth constituency as an Independent in the upcoming Senedd election he says, 'it’s time to put Monmouth first'. As an Association we have always put Monmouth and Monmouthshire first.

"We therefore beg the question as to why, after 14 years as its elected representative, is it only now time for him to put Monmouth first?

"Whilst we wish Nick well in the future, he will form part of our opposition in this campaign."

Monmouthshire County Council leader Cllr Peter Fox has been selected as the Conservative candidate for Monmouth.