Nick Bourne

Nick Bourne
Nick Bourne
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly for Wales
In office
11 July 2007 – 5 May 2011
Preceded by Ieuan Wyn Jones
Succeeded by Paul Davies
Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the National Assembly
In office
1999 – 6 May 2011
Preceded by Rod Richards
Succeeded by Paul Davies
Member of the Welsh Assembly
for Mid and West Wales
In office
6 May 1999 – 6 May 2011
Preceded by New Assembly
Succeeded by William Powell (Lib Dem)
Personal details
Born 1 January 1952 (1952-01-01) (age 59)
Nationality United Kingdom British
Political party Conservative
Alma mater University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Trinity College, Cambridge
Occupation Full time politician
Website Nick Bourne's Blog

Nicholas Henry Bourne (born 1 January 1952) is a Welsh Conservative politician. He served as the Leader of the Welsh Conservative Party and as a member of the National Assembly for Wales for the Mid and West Wales electoral region from August 1999 until May 2011. During the 2011 assembly elections he unexpectedly lost his regional list seat, due to Conservative gains at constituency level.



Bourne was the first of two children of the late, John Morgan Bourne and his wife, Joan Edith Mary Bourne. He was educated at King Edward VI School, Chelmsford; University of Wales, Aberystwyth; and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was President of Cambridge University Lawyers and Treasurer of Cambridge University Conservative Association.[1]

Professional career

A former Professor of Law, Bourne has been Assistant Principal of Swansea Institute of Higher Education, is also a visiting lecturer at Hong Kong University and an author.[1]

He is also a fluent speaker in Welsh and French.

Political interests

His political interests include the economy, foreign affairs, health and education. Bourne is also a supporter of charities and organizations in Wales, including the NSPCC, National Trust, and the British Heart Foundation. Bourne has campaigned for rural communities, opposing wind farm developments, the closure of post offices and small schools, and supporting improved health care provision in non-urban areas. He also campaigns on issues such as the need for a referendum on plans to give the assembly law making powers, the future of the National Botanic Garden, and on the growing cost of government in Wales.[2]

He was presented with the Local Campaigner of the Year Award, by BBC AM.PM show 2005; he also won AM of the Year 2005 from ITV.

Political career

Formerly, the Conservatives' Chief Spokesman in Wales and was the Conservative Party candidate in the 1984 Chesterfield by-election. He was a member of the National Assembly Advisory Group, the body which set up the institution's working arrangements.[1] He also contested Chesterfield in the 1983 general election.

First elected to the National Assembly for Wales in 1999, and re-elected in 2003 and 2007, Bourne sits on the Assembly's European and External Affairs committee and is the party's spokesman on constitutional matters. He has been leader of the Welsh Conservatives since August 1999, and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly since July 2007. Following a minor reshuffle in June 2008, Bourne also became the Shadow Minister for Finance and Public Service Delivery in addition to his role as Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly until 22 October 2008.[3][4]

Bourne is also the Honorary President of Aberystwyth University Conservative Future.


Bourne has been involved in two notable scandals. In September 2008 the Conservatives in the Welsh Assembly published a dossier that contained personal attacks on Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan.[5]

Bourne initially disassociated himself from the dossier, claiming Conservative Group staff had issued it without his knowledge or authorisation. Bourne was forced to admit later that he had signed off the dossier for publication.[6]

For a brief period Bourne's future as Leader of the Conservative Group in the National Assembly for Wales was "in the balance" [7] with media reports that Cardiff North Conservative Assembly Member Jonathan Morgan reportedly challenging Bourne for the Leadership. This speculation was heightened by Morgan refusing a change of posts in Bourne's February 2009 reshuffle of the Shadow Cabinet in the Welsh Assembly with Morgan being left without a place on Bourne's front bench.[8] However Bourne remains leader.


  • Known in the Assembly as “Choad” Bourne, though he is Professor Nicholas Bourne, LLB LLM, law lecturer and barrister.
  • Member of the Legislation Committee of the Assembly, and of the Standards of Conduct Committee.
  • Stood in Brecon and Radnor but was beaten by the Lib Dem Kirsty Williams. But as no.1 on the Conservative regional list for Mid and West Wales, he won a top-up seat.
  • Leader of the 9 Tories in the National Assembly (at a time when there are no Welsh Tories at Westminster), he was elected to the post after the resignation of Rod Richards. He made a small reshuffle of spokesmanships. He opposed the construction of a new Assembly chamber.
  • He was formerly the chief spokesman for the Tories in Wales, appointed by William Hague, and had been beaten by Rod Richards in an earlier leadership contest. He was then seen as the moderate, more conciliatory candidate, but his Englishness (he was born in Newark) was held against him. The contest was fairly acrimonious. He was not in Richards’ campaign team, though he was given the Finance portfolio after the election.
  • He had previously led the unsuccessful “Just Say NO” campaign against Welsh devolution during the 1997 referendum. He has had much experience of campaigning, having stood three times for Westminster. After the referendum he served on the National Assembly Advisory Group which drew up the ground rules for the Assembly.
  • He is a member of the Doctors and Dentists Pay Review Body. Also member of : British Heart Foundation, Institute of Directors, Society of Authors, national Trust, NSPCC
  • Active in Tory party at Cambridge (Treasurer of CUCA, president of CU Tory Lawyers), St Marylebone and in the Gower. [9]
  • Bourne, admitted during his time at Cambridge, that he was 'pro- Thathcer- in reference to, File:Margaret Thatcher.
  • Bourne is also 'pro-Europe. However he said, " I have never wavered on that, though I wouldn’t call myself fanatically pro-Europe by any means. But it has always seemed to me to be the right thing for Britain to be in the European Union". [10]

Personal life

Bourne has one younger brother, Timothy. Bourne has not married, and now lives in Aberystywth.


  1. ^ a b c Nicholas Bourne "BBC News AMs profile". BBC. Nicholas Bourne. Retrieved 1999-09-01. 
  2. ^ 'Become more Welsh,' Tories told "BBC News Wales". BBC. 'Become more Welsh,' Tories told. Retrieved 2005-06-26. 
  3. ^ Tories rush to replace Alun Cairns "Western Mail". Western Mail. Tories rush to replace Alun Cairns. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  4. ^ "Greasy wops slur Tory is general election candidate". Wales Online. 2008-10-22. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  5. ^ Nicholas Bourne "Morgan ignores Tory clown insult". BBC. Nicholas Bourne. Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  6. ^ Nicholas Bourne "Bourne apology for Morgan attack". BBC. Nicholas Bourne. Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  7. ^ Nicholas Bourne "Bourne's future 'in the balance'". BBC. Nicholas Bourne. Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  8. ^ Nicholas Bourne "Two Tories reject Bourne offers". BBC. Nicholas Bourne. Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  9. ^
  10. ^

Offices held

National Assembly for Wales
New creation
Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales
1999 – 2011
Succeeded by
William Powell (Lib Dem)
Political offices
Preceded by
Rod Richards
Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the National Assembly
1999 – 2011
Succeeded by
Paul Davies (Interim)
Political offices
Preceded by
Ieuan Wyn Jones
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly
2007 – 2011
Succeeded by
Paul Davies (Interim)
Preceded by
Angela Burns
Shadow Minister for Finance and Public Service Delivery
14 June 2008 to 22 October 2008
Succeeded by
Nick Ramsay

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