The DUP also rather helpfully point us in the direction of Alun Cairns, who as a sitting AM initially followed what seemed like party policy when he won the Westminster seat for the Vale of Glamorgan and offered to resign his seat of South Wales West (for clarity that’s Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot and Bridgend).
Update: Heads up from Dewi, here’s what Politics Cymru has to say on the matter of his likely replacement..
An understandable decision when, the party’s manifesto promise (now for Northern Ireland only) aside, you consider the two constituencies don’t even overlap. Then it seems, the local party structure decided to decline his offer.
The reasons seem unclear. But, according to the Western Mail, Porthcawl Councillor Chris Smart, who was next on the party list at the last Assembly election, and therefore the individual who should take the seat if Cairns were permitted by the party to resign it, is far from happy:
All I know about the situation is what I have read in the press,” he said. “I’ve also spoken to party colleagues and it seems no members on South Wales West have had communication from the party – not even a one-line e-mail.
It’s an amazing situation and I am angry as the area has been totally ignored. It seems they may be afraid to put anything in writing. It is discourteous at best.
The Lib Dem AM Peter Black asks some pertinent questions on his blog:
The fact that Alun Cairns has decided that he will not take his Assembly salary is admirable but it speaks volumes as to how he will be doing his job as an AM. The intention is clearly to leave those who voted for him unrepresented. However, it does raise fundamental questions as to other aspects of his job.
I do not know what will happen to Alun’s regional office in Porthcawl but if he retains that will he continue to claim Assembly allowances for it and if so what service will be offered from there?
Will Alun continue to employ Assembly Support Staff from his allowances and if so what will they be doing? It would of course be against the rules to deploy them in the Vale of Glamorgan but how will they be assisting their employer when he appears to have washed his hands of the role of AM?
Will Alun continue to hold surgeries, participate in local campaigns, and respond to correspondence from his constituents?
But Black is traversing almost exactly the same territory as William Hague laid out last October:
Northern Ireland needs to participate fully in the great national debates about all of these issues. That’s another reason why Northern Ireland should be properly represented there by MPs who see the House of Commons as a full-time job of work.
It’s perfectly reasonable to be elected to Stormont or to Westminster. Yet we have some people here who are councillors, MLAs, MPs and Ministers.
The only person in British politics who rivals them for the number of jobs they have is Lord Mandelson.. So we will end the practice of double jobbing. In future, politicians will have to decide whether they want to be MLAs or MPs.
They can’t be both.
Unless, apparently, you are a Conservative who lives in Wales..
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty