Two Gwent AMs sacked from Assembly Tory shadow cabinet
UPDATE 10.30pm: Nick Ramsay, who is on a visit outside of the country, has thanked people for their good wishes.
The Monmouth AM told Twitter: "Can I thank everyone for their good wishes tonight. I am currently chairing a visit to Brussels, will respond to you all in due course".
UPDATE 10pm: Voting records for the Assembly show that Nick Ramsay and Mohammad Asghar did not back a motion opposing the proposed "lockstep" system for income tax, which their leader had.
The motion was tabled in a debate on the draft Wales Bill on Tuesday and had cross-party support.
The UK Government Wales Bill currently proposes that income tax could be varied in Wales following a referendum, but each tax band would have to be changed together.
Meanwhile Monmouth MP Davies has added on Twitter that it is the "first time I've ever heard of a politician being sacked for supporting their own party policy".
UPDATE 9:39pm: Reports have suggested that Nick Ramsay hadn't been told of Andrew RT Davies's move to sack him.
A Labour AM has claimed Mr Ramsay, who had once ran against Mr Davies in a leadership contest, had known nothing about the decision.
Mick Antoniw had told Twitter: "@NickRamsayAM he is on train with me and knows nothing about it! #sackedbytwitter".
UPDATE 9:18pm: Monmouth MP David Davies has lent his support to his counterpart in the Assembly.
Mr Davies tweeted: "Nick Ramsay [is] right to oppose tax raising powers for Assembly. Sorry & surprised he was sacked. Has my support"
8:39pm: TWO Gwent Tory AMs have been sacked from their party’s front bench by their leader Andrew RT Davies, it has emerged tonight.
Nick Ramsay, AM for Monmouth, and Mohammad Asghar, South Wales East AM, will now not serve as shadow cabinet members in the Assembly.
They join Antoinette Sandbach and Janet Finch-Saunders in being dropped from the Welsh Tory shadow cabinet.
Tonight Andrew RT Davies said thanked all four “for their excellent service".
South Wales East AM William Graham will take Nick Ramsay’s position as shadow minister for business.
Mr Graham's role as chief whip will pass to Paul Davies.
Meanwhile Mr Asghar’s sport and equalities portfolio will be performed by Suzy Davies, who is now shadow minister for culture.
Mr Asghar tonight said that the re-shuffle was “one of those things”.
He wouldn't be drawn on why he was dropped, telling the Argus: "I think the best person to ask is Andrew himself, rather than me saying anything."
“I do not want to jeopardize our unity,” he said, adding: “I believe it’s the leader’s prerogative to hire and fire people. I accept that, wholeheartedly.”
The rest of the new positions are:
Angela Burns: Shadow Minister for Education incl. Further Education & Higher Education
Byron Davies: Shadow Minister for Regeneration & Transport
Paul Davies: Deputy Leader, Shadow Minister for Finance & Chief Whip
Russell George: Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Natural Resources
Mark Isherwood: Shadow Minister for Housing, Communities, Local Government & North Wales
Darren Millar: Shadow Minister for Health, Social Services and Older People.
Tory group leader Andrew RT Davies said: “I’m confident that the new Shadow Cabinet has everything it takes to continue breaking barriers and providing innovative ideas.
“I want to thank Nick Ramsay, Antoinette Sandbach, Janet Finch-Saunders, and Mohammad Asghar for their excellent service and I look forward to continued campaigning with them as a Welsh Conservative group."https://twitter.com/davidtcdavies/status/433709625188564992