Wales politics

Welsh Tories talked of name change, says Nick Bourne

Nick Bourne
Image caption Nick Bourne was a Mid and West Wales AM for 12 years

The former leader of the Conservatives in the assembly says the party in Wales once considered changing its name.

It comes after the frontrunner for Scottish Conservative leader, Murdo Fraser, said he would disband the party there if he won next month's contest.

Mr Bourne told BBC Radio Wales' Sunday Supplement programme the assembly's Welsh group considered a name change, but he thought it was not a good idea.

Mr Bourne lost his seat in the Welsh assembly elections on 5 May.

MSP Mr Fraser has said the Conservatives carry too much baggage in Scotland and claims a new centre-right party will attract more voters.

The Conservatives have failed to revive their fortunes in Scotland since the 1997 general election, which saw them lose all 11 of their Westminster seats.

In Wales, the party has revived its fortunes and has eight MPs following the General Election last year.

Mr Bourne said: "We did actually at one stage consider a name change.

"I don't often malign David Melding, he usually comes up with excellent ideas, but this was one idea out of his 100 which wasn't a good idea when he suggested we change the name to 'Ymlaen' (Welsh for 'forward').

"I said: 'I've never heard such nonsense, that's not what we need to do', and so we didn't.

"We set about changing the party in just the same way as - in fairness - David Cameron has done on a wider tableau."

Mr Bourne questioned whether a name change in Scotland was the right decision, but said it was for the party's members in Scotland to decide.

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