Secretary of State must deliver for Wales


Plaid Cymru leader reacts to the appointment of new Welsh Secretary

The onus is now on the new Secretary of State to prove that a Welsh MP can have a positive impact for Wales at the UK cabinet table.  That was the message today from Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood as she congratulated the Conservative MP for Clwyd West, David Jones, on his appointment as Secretary of State for Wales.  Ms Wood said that she remains to be convinced that the appointment of a Welsh MP will have any real influence on the way Wales is treated by the Tory Lib Dem UK government.  She added that the true test for the new Secretary of State will be whether he will be prepared to fight Wales’s corner in the cabinet and whether he will be able to get a better deal for the people of Wales. 

Plaid Cymru Leader, Leanne Wood AM, said:

“I congratulate David Jones MP on his appointment today and wish him well in his new role.  I remain to be convinced that there will be any change in Wales' influence at the cabinet table.  People in Wales need a Secretary of State who is prepared to stand up and fight for our communities on the basic economic issues which affect people's lives and which really matter. 

“The priority of the Secretary of State should be to represent the needs and interests of Wales and not to be Westminster’s envoy in Wales. The first test for David Jones will be to ensure that his government tackles the Assembly's severe under-funding. The loss of hundreds of millions of pounds each year to the block-grant has had a critical knock-on effect to the Assembly's budget, meaning cuts to spending on measures to help our economy and on our health and education systems. Another task will be for him to secure a legislative slot for the findings of the second part of the Silk Commission.

“Wales is being hit hard by the economic crisis and the deep public spending cuts. People can see that the same old measures are not working and are calling out for new, radical solutions. Since the onset of this recession, Plaid Cymru has called for concrete action in the form of a stimulus from the UK government which will create and protect jobs.   For Wales to get through this deepening economic crisis, capital investment for job creation is needed as a matter of urgency. The Tory Lib Dem government cannot be allowed to ignore its responsibilities to Wales. They have a duty to take action to enable the Welsh economy to recover with so many economic levers still in their hands. The communities of Wales need investment from both the UK and Welsh governments now if we are to recover from this economic crisis and it is the role of the Secretary of State to ensure that this happens.”