IN a dramatic turn in fortunes  former Welsh Secretary David Davies has lost his Monmouthshire seat to Labour newcomer Catherine Fookes who becomes the constituency’s first woman MP

After a closely fought race, which saw Mr Davies concede defeat almost as the polls closed, Ms Fookes raced to victory bringing to an end almost 20 years of Conservative control in Monmouthshire.

Speaking as the result was announced at just after 5.30 this morning new MP Catherine praised her opponent Mr Davies saying that while their politics were very different he had given 25 years of service to the people of Monmouthshire and had cared deeply about the constituency, which she promised would be in safe hands with her.

She said that the people of Monmouthshire had sent a strong message of change at the ballot box , put country before party and put their faith in her. 

“I do not take this lightly,” she said.

Mrs Fookes thanked all her fellow candidates and paid special tribute to Independent Owen Lewis, saying Monmouthshire should be proud of someone with the passion to put himself through the rigours of an election campaign without any of the party machinery behind him

She added that during her campaign she had been proud to see what a vibrant community Monmouthshire was saying she was confident that there was ‘more than unites us than divides us’.

“I won’t let you down,” she said.

Farmers’s daughter Catherine Fookes, has lived in Monmouthshire for 25 years and describes herself as a ‘busy mum, school governor, smallholder, county councillor and leading campaigner for women’s equality in the workplace and in public life’.

Coming from an agricultural family Mrs Fookes says says she understand the joys and difficulties of rural life, especially of making ends meet whilst running a farm.  She is also an environmentalist, committed to the beautiful and threatened countryside and rivers of Monmouthshire. 

In her downtime, she enjoys going to her sons' gigs, swimming in the Wye, popping into the local pub and walking Beanie, the family dog.   

David T C Davies who is this morning facing a career away from the House of Commons was appointed Secretary of State for Wales in 2022 having previously served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales between December 2019 and October 2022.

Previously, he held the role of Chair of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee between 2010 and 2019. He was first elected as MP for Monmouth in 2005 although his political career started in1999 when he was elected as the Welsh Assembly Member for Monmouth - a seat he held until 2007.

Often controversial Mr Davies has attracted attention for his views on transgender issues and illegal immigrants.

In his election night speech at the Monmouthshire count Mr Davies paid tribute to his fellow candidates and thanked his family and colleagues for their support over the past 25 years.

He also praised ‘the journalists of Wales’ saying that while he often complained about them, they did a sterling job in holding politicians to account.