Suzy Davies (born 3 January) is a Welsh Conservative Party politician, who served as a Member of the Senedd for South Wales West from 2011 to 2021.[1][2] She was elected first on the Welsh Conservatives party list for the region in the 2011 election.[3]

Suzy Davies
Suzy Davies AM (28170821345).jpg
Davies in 2016
Member of the Senedd
for South Wales West
In office
6 May 2011 – 29 April 2021
Preceded byAlun Cairns
Succeeded byTom Giffard
Personal details
BornSwansea, Wales
Political partyConservative
Websitewww.suzydaviesam.com

BackgroundEdit

Suzy Davies was born in Swansea, and grew up in Bridgend, Aberdare, Cardiff, and Brecon. A graduate of Exeter University and the University of Glamorgan (the latter now the University of South Wales), she is married with two sons. After a career in both marketing and management, she became a solicitor.

She has trained as a mentor for young offenders and has mentored with Prime Cymru. Davies has also been a trustee of a number of children's projects and volunteered with community support groups. She has written for various publications and was one of the founding board members of the Welsh International Film Festival.[4]

Early political careerEdit

Prior to her election as an Assembly Member in 2011, Davies contested UK parliamentary seats twice for the Welsh Conservative Party. At the 2005 general election she fought in Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, finishing in third position but increasing the Conservative vote share by 0.8%.[5] She contested the 2010 general election as the Conservative candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire, losing out to Roger Williams of the Liberal Democrats.[6][7] This followed up on the work she did as the Conservative candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire at the 2007 National Assembly for Wales election where she finished second behind Liberal Democrats incumbent Kirsty Williams but with a 3.7% increase in the vote share.[8]

Senedd MemberEdit

After being elected to the National Assembly for Wales, Davies was appointed as Shadow Minister for Tourism, Culture and the Welsh Language by Leader of the Opposition, Andrew RT Davies. She sits on the Constitutional & Legislative Affairs Committee as well as the Children & Young People Committee.[9]

In May 2013, she was named honorary President of Swansea Conservative Future.[10]

She was re-elected as top of the Conservative list in 2016, but was moved down the list in 2021 and lost her seat.

Issues and campaignsEdit

As an AM, Davies has been active in various local campaigns, most notably in her opposition to the proposed closure of the Princess of Wales Hospital.[11]

She has also campaigned with the British Heart Foundation to make the teaching of CPR a mandatory element of the secondary school curriculum. She criticised the Welsh Government for a 'lack of enthusiasm' for the subject, claiming that compulsory teaching would require little additional government resource.[12] In her final months as a Member of the Senedd, in March 2021, Welsh Government reversed their decision and announced that schools in Wales would instead be required to teach lifesaving skills and first aid under the Wales' new curriculum.[13]

She has also been active in the 'Safe Routes to School' campaign, and opposed the closure of Cwrt Sart School.[14]

In her role as Shadow Minister for Education, in June 2020 Suzy Davies called on Welsh Government to delay the implementation of their new school curriculum.[15] Despite the Education Minister at the time ignoring these calls, Suzy Davies ultimately did see success in her campaign as Jeremy Miles, the newly appointed Education Minister following the 2021 Senedd election, took a lead from her calls and confirmed in July 2021 that the new curriculum would be delayed for a year.[16]

Suzy Davies has also worked to encourage more women to get involved in politics and has chaired Women2Win Wales,[17] an organisation set up to encourage more women to stand for the Welsh Conservatives. When discussing the 2021 Senedd elections she said she was "disappointed new women coming into politics were not being given as much of a chance as men."[18]

Leadership BidEdit

Following the resignation of Andrew RT Davies as leader of the Welsh Conservatives in June 2018,[19] Suzy Davies formally announced her plan to run for the role and force a contest after fellow Conservative AM Paul Davies had announced his nomination.[20][21][22]

This led to the 2018 Welsh Conservatives leadership election which ran from 29th June to 6th September 2018.

She called for "new energy under a new leader who can reach out to new audiences" saying that she wanted "a modern Welsh party which celebrates and fights for the union of the United Kingdom with every fibre as well as celebrating and sharing our love of Wales and our commitment to free it from Labour control."[23]

During her campaign she also questioned the structure of the Welsh Conservatives, saying that the party needed to "catch up with devolution" and "give transparency and more power to members."[24]

Mrs Davies gained further attention when she said drunken people who need ambulance help should pay the cost of the call-out, citing the need for people to take "personal responsibility for actions which were adding to the workload of a "stretched" NHS."[25]

Following the conclusion of the contest, won by Paul Davies, Mr Davies thanked "his rival Suzy Davies and her team for the 'well mannered, courteous contest' they had fought, vowing that whatever happened they would remain friends." Suzy Davies "reiterated this following his appointment, tweeting that 'we’re still on the same side'."[26]

After Senedd CymruEdit

TourismEdit

Four months after the 2021 Senedd Cymru election Davies was appointed Chair of Wales Tourism Alliance (WTA),[27] an organisation which provides a "collective voice to put forward the views of the industry to Welsh Government and beyond."

She had previously chaired the Senedd's Cross Party Group on Tourism[28] and her family runs a tourism business in Mid Wales.[29]

Following the UK Government's Budget Statement in October 2021, Davies called on the Welsh Government to give more support to Welsh tourism businesses through "prioritise[ing] support for business rates, staffing, training and specific capital investment in Wales’ tourism sector with the money it receives from UK Government’s Budget."[30]

After the announcement of a 'Co-Operation Agreement'[31] between Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru, which sets out 46 areas the two would work jointly towards over the next three years, Mrs Davies voiced concern on behalf of the Welsh tourism industry and criticised the Agreement’s approach to tourism, claiming that it "resurrects the possibility of a tourism tax being introduced in Wales through local government financing reform."[32][33]

CultureEdit

In October 2021 it was announced Suzy Davies had been appointed to the board of the Iris Prize.[34] Prior to her involvement in politics she had, in 1989, been a founding board member of the Welsh International Film Festival with Iris Prize Director Berwyn Rowlands[35] and had also previously worked in marketing and management at Swansea Grand Theatre[36] and in cultural roles in Mid Wales in both Newtown and at Aberystwyth Arts Centre.[37]

Heart screening and defibrillatorsEdit

Following her campaigning work as a Member of the Senedd calling on Welsh Government to make age-appropriate lifesaving lessons part of the Welsh curriculum,[38] Suzy Davies was named as a Vice-President of the Welsh heart screening charity Calon Heart Screening and Defibrillators.[39]

EducationEdit

In November 2021 it was announced that Suzy Davies, former Shadow Education Minister and previously member of the Senedd's Education and Welsh Language Committees, had taken up an unpaid role as a board member of Colegau Cymru[40] an education charity which promotes the public benefit of further education in Wales.[41]

EqualityEdit

Following on from her work to encourage women to stand for election, Suzy Davies was elected to the board of Womens Equality Network Wales (WEN Wales), a charity which campaigns for "a Wales where all women and men have equal authority and opportunity to shape society and their own lives",[42] in November 2021.[43]

This followed on from the work she did to support the organisation during her time as a Member of the Senedd.[44]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Regional List candidates for next year's Welsh Assembly elections named". ConservativeHome's Seats & Candidates blog.
  2. ^ "Swansea: The latest news, sport, what's on and business from Swansea and Gower". www.walesonline.co.uk.
  3. ^ "Election 2011 - Wales - South Wales West". BBC News. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  4. ^ "About Suzy". SuzyDavies.com. 30 November 2011. Archived from the original on 6 December 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  5. ^ "Carmarthen East and Dinefwr: Constituency > Politics > guardian.co.uk". Election 2010. The Guardian. 5 May 2005. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  6. ^ Brecon and Radnorshire Archived 8 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine Cyngor Sir Powys County Council Electoral Registration
  7. ^ Brecon and Radnorshire BBC Election – Brecon and Radnorshire
  8. ^ [1] BBC: Welsh assembly election 2007: Brecon & Radnorshire
  9. ^ [2] Your Voice Portfolio – Suzy Davies
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 July 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Swansea Conservative Future – Life Memberships
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 July 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Suzy Davies – Back Petition to Fight Cuts at Princess of Wales Hospital
  12. ^ [3] Your Voice – Two Hours To Save a Life
  13. ^ [4] BBC Wales: Compulsory lifesaving lessons in Welsh curriculum in U-turn
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 December 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Suzy Davies – AM Opposes Cwrt Sart Closure
  15. ^ [5] Institute of Welsh Affairs: "No time to learn" Suzy Davies MS argues that the impact of Covid-19 on schools should mean delaying the implementation of the new curriculum
  16. ^ [6] BBC Wales: "Schools: Mandatory secondary curriculum pushed back to 2023
  17. ^ [7] Women2Win: Become a Welsh Assembly Member
  18. ^ [8] BBC Wales: Women in politics: Lack of diversity 'a massive step back' for Wales
  19. ^ [9] Wales Online: The story behind Andrew RT Davies' ousting as Welsh Conservative leader
  20. ^ [10] Wales Online: The story behind Andrew RT Davies' ousting as Welsh Conservative leader- It remains unclear whether there will be a leadership contest to choose Andrew RT Davies’ successor, or whether Paul Davies, the AM for Preseli Pembrokeshire, will be the beneficiary of a “coronation”.
  21. ^ [11] South Wales Argus: Suzy Davies launches Welsh Conservative leadership bid
  22. ^ [12] BBC Wales: Suzy Davies to stand for Welsh Tory assembly leader
  23. ^ [13] South Wales Argus: Suzy Davies launches Welsh Conservative leadership bid
  24. ^ [14] South Wales Argus: Suzy Davies launches Welsh Conservative leadership bid
  25. ^ [15] BBC Wales: Charge drinkers for ambulance call, says Tory AM Suzy Davies
  26. ^ [16] Community Housing Cymru: Paul Davies wins Conservative leadership race
  27. ^ [17] Wales Tourism Alliance: "New chair welcomed after turbulent time for the tourism industry in Wales"
  28. ^ [18] Senedd Cymru Cross Party Group on Tourism: New chair thanks Suzy Davies for work as previous chair
  29. ^ [19] Wales Tourism Alliance: "New chair welcomed after turbulent time for the tourism industry in Wales"
  30. ^ [20] Wales 24/7: "Tourism chair calls for post-Budget support for Wales’ tourism businesses"
  31. ^ [21] Welsh Government: The Co-operation Agreement: 2021
  32. ^ [22] Wales Tourism Alliance: "​Spectre of tourism tax raised by Labour-Plaid Cymru pact says Wales Tourism Alliance"
  33. ^ [23] Nation Cymru: "Wales Tourism Alliance fears Labour-Plaid Cymru pact will lead to tourist tax"
  34. ^ [24] Peccadillo Pictures’ Tom Abell takes over as chair of Iris Prize: "Suzy Davies, a former Welsh Conservative leadership candidate, have also been appointed to the Iris Prize board"
  35. ^ [25] Iris Prize: Suzy Davies
  36. ^ [26] Wales Online: The contenders to succeed Andrew RT Davies as leader of the Welsh Conservatives
  37. ^ [27] Wales On Sunday: Going Head to Head to Lead the Welsh Tory Party
  38. ^ [28] BBC Wales: Compulsory lifesaving lessons in Welsh curriculum in U-turn
  39. ^ [29] Calon Heart Screening and Defibrillators: Calon Heart Screening Team
  40. ^ [30] Colegau Cymru: "Our Board"
  41. ^ [31] Colegau Cymru: "Who We Are"
  42. ^ [32] WEN Wales: "About WEN Wales"
  43. ^ [33] WEN Wales: "Trustees"
  44. ^ [34] WEN Wales: "Press Release: Feminist Scorecard 2020: gender equality could be set back by Covid-19"

External linksEdit

Office heldEdit

Senedd
Preceded by Member of the Senedd for South Wales West
2011–2021
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
TBC
Shadow Minister for Culture and Welsh Language
2011-2016
Succeeded by
post-reorganised
Preceded by
TBC
Shadow Minister for Social Services
2016-2018
Succeeded by
Preceded by Shadow Minister for Education
2018-2021
Succeeded by