Key interests and achievements
Paul is a prolific campaigner for the autism community in
Wales and brought forward draft legislation on an Autism Act for Wales, which
whilst wasn’t passed by the National Assembly, resulted in significant
statutory changes to autism provision in Wales. Paul is also the leading figure
of the campaign to better preserve and protect War Memorials in Wales and
regularly raises this issue in the Assembly Chamber.
Paul was born in 1969 and grew up in Pontsian just outside
Llandysul in the County of Ceredigion. He attended Tregroes Primary School,
Llandysul Grammar School and after studying his A Levels at Newcastle Emlyn
Comprehensive School, he joined Lloyds Bank in 1987.
Up until being elected, he continued to be employed by
Lloyds Bank and his last role with the company was as a Business Manager based
in Haverfordwest helping to support small businesses.
In February 2000, Paul fought the Ceredigion Parliamentary
by-election and improved the Welsh Conservative Party's position from fifth
place in the previous Assembly election to third place and pushed Labour into
fourth place. He also fought the 2001 general election as the Parliamentary
candidate for Ceredigion. In 2003, he fought Preseli Pembrokeshire in the Welsh
Assembly election where he increased the share of the vote from 23% to 30%. He
improved the Welsh Conservative Party's position from third to second place and
only 1,326 votes behind Labour. Paul has also held senior positions within the
Welsh Conservative Party in Mid and West Wales such as chairman of Ceredigion
Conservative Association and deputy chairman of Mid and West Wales
Conservatives. Paul was elected as the Welsh Conservative Assembly Member for
Preseli Pembrokeshire in May 2007, with 38.6% of the vote and a majority of
3,205.After his initial election in 2007, Paul held the position of Shadow
Minister for Culture, the Welsh Language and Sport, before in March 2009 being
appointed Shadow Minister for Education and the Welsh Language. The National
Assembly Elections held on 5th May 2011 saw Paul re-elected as the Assembly
Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire, increasing his share of the vote to 42.4%.
Shortly after the election, Paul was appointed as Interim Leader of the Welsh
Conservative Assembly Group, a position he held until the appointment of Andrew
RT Davies AM on 14th July 2011. One of Andrew’s first decisions as Leader was
to appoint Paul as Deputy Leader of the Welsh Conservative Assembly Group, and
in addition to make him Shadow Minister for Finance. Paul was re-elected as the
Assembly Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire on 5th May 2016, increasing his
majority to 3,930. Paul continued as Deputy Leader of the Welsh Conservative
Group, Business Manager and Chief Whip. In addition, Paul was appointed as
Welsh Conservative spokesperson on Rural Affairs. In September 2018, Paul was
elected by the membership of the Welsh Conservative Party as Leader of the
Welsh Conservatives in the National Assembly. Shortly afterwards, he appointed
his Shadow Cabinet.
Paul lives with his wife Julie in Blaenffos, North
Pembrokeshire and they were married in September 2006. Paul has previously been
a member of Boncath Community Council and was a school Governor for many years.
His main interests outside politics are rugby, reading, walking and visiting