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This tag is associated with 57 posts

Cheryl Gillan criticises Carwyn Jones’ ‘isolationism’

The Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan has written an article for the Conservative Home website attacking what she says is the iincreasing isolationism of the First Minister. Welsh Labour has responded fiercely. I’ll quote both in full. First here’s Cheryl Gillan’s article: Cheryl Gillan MP, Secretary of State for Wales, accuses Labour in Wales of taking … Continue reading

First Ministers of Wales & Scotland write joint letter to David Cameron

Following separate letters to the Prime Minister last week setting out concerns about the effect on Wales and Scotland of David Cameron’s approach to the EU, Carwyn Jones and Alex Salmond have this afternoon sent the following letter: The Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP Prime Minister 10 Downing Street London SW1A 0AA 21 December 2011 … Continue reading

Office Politics

I won’t add to the reports of the latest spat between the Welsh Government and the Wales Office, this time over office space in London. The BBC has a full account of the row here. The Inside Out blog has some sympathy with the Welsh Government and makes some perceptive observations here while the Freedom Central … Continue reading

Negotiating the Welsh Budget in public and in hindsight

At the time, the exchange in First Minister’s Questions between Carwyn Jones and Kirsty Williams less than a fortnight ago (November 15th) seemed to see the two leaders going through the usual FMQs motions. The only difference was that later that afternoon saw Labour’s draft budget defeated in a vote in the Assembly. In the … Continue reading

Assembly voting system: Conservatives join Labour (sort of)

If you’re reading this, you almost certainly know about the ongoing row over the possibility or otherwise of change in the way Assembly Members are elected and the controversy surrounding the position Welsh Labour’s taken on it. If you don’t you can read what I’ve said about it before here and here. Now Labour’s upping the … Continue reading

Welsh budget talks update

Just  a few points to update you with so far today. The Welsh Government met Plaid Cymru last night (Wednesday) following a similar meeting with the Liberal Democrats on Tuesday. There’s no official word on how the meeting went. A Welsh Government source would only say, We are not providing a running commentary on these … Continue reading

Talks Tuesday: Welsh Budget latest

I freely admit that I’m guilty of over-selling with the title of this blogpost, but I have to lure you in somehow. But it would be downright lying if I told you there was any kind of resolution to the deadlocked budget negotiations. At least that I know of. The truth is we don’t know … Continue reading

Assembly Voting System: Welsh Labour v. Electoral Reform Society

A furious row has erupted between Welsh Labour and the Electoral Reform Society, the latest in a series of disagreements over possible changes to the way Assembly Members are elected. The ERS says changes backed by Labour would ‘rob thousands of voters of a choice and vote’ and be ‘damaging for democracy and damaging for … Continue reading

Welsh Budget latest: Conservatives out in the cold

The Welsh Government has ruled out doing a budget deal with the Conservatives and will from now on only talk to Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats. It’s no surprise that a Labour government would find it difficult to reach any such agreement with the Conservatives, but it’s still a significant step to rule it … Continue reading

Welsh Labour & Assembly voting system

Welsh Labour’s Executive Committee has backed a controversial call by the Shadow Welsh Secretary Peter Hain to elect all Assembly members by first-past-the-post IF there are if to be changes to the boundaries. ‘IF’ is the crucial word because as you will see below, Welsh Labour has now set itself firmly against ANY change and … Continue reading

Welsh Budget latest / Sharp End preview

Well it seems at least one of the things I said earlier this week about the behind-the-scenes talks on the Welsh budget was wrong: the opposition parties certainly have been working together. It’s not quite a return of the rainbow coalition which almost happened after the 2007 but what I expect to happen this afternoon … Continue reading

Conservative candidates in Labour heartlands

My attention has been drawn to something which was said to Welsh Conservatives at their policy forum last weekend and has been overlooked. It gives an insight into the party’s intentions for next year’s local elections and, I think, into a wider strategy. Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan told party members that next year, they should … Continue reading

Welsh Government Budget talks

Behind the scenes in the Assembly, party leaders have been meeting to try to reach agreement on the Welsh Government’s spending plans. The reason why these meetings have been happening is because Carwyn Jones’ Labour Government doesn’t have a majority of votes in the Senedd; in fact the number of seats is equally divided between … Continue reading

Euro-vote and Welsh Conservatives

I’ve been gauging the views of Welsh Conservative MPs ahead of tonight’s vote in the House of Commons on whether or not there should be a referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union. We can expect at least one to defy his party’s leadership and vote for the motion. That’s because Monmouth’s David Davies, … Continue reading

Wrestling News: David Davies MP.

Not content with white collar boxing, Monmouth MP David Davies has now taken to wrestling. As you can see in these pictures, he came face to face with two of the star wrestlers from TNA’s Impact Wrestling, which airs on Challenge TV. In the photo on the left he’s grappling with Mickie James, described by … Continue reading

Silk Commission: could reduce the Assembly’s powers.

The Welsh Secretary has told tonight’s Sharp End that the Commission looking at devolution in Wales could recommend that some powers be removed from the Assembly as well as that more could be transferred. As I reported on Tuesday, Cheryl Gillan launched the commission under the leadership of former Assembly official Paul Silk to look … Continue reading

The Silk Commission

So, it’s officially RIP to Calman Cymru and long live the Silk Commission. Paul Silk, who was Clerk of the National Assembly soon after it was set up, has today been unveiled as the chair of the UK Government’s Commission on Devolution in Wales. Here’s the Wales Office release announcing his appointment and the make-up … Continue reading

Cameron, Council Tax and Cardiff Bay

David Cameron made his thoughts clear when I interviewed him earlier: the Welsh Government ‘should’ freeze council tax. But that was his second answer. He first said, ‘I hope they will.’ And that hesitation gets to the heart of this row which is that, whatever the Prime Minister says, devolution means that it’s up to … Continue reading

Conservative Conference: Andrew RT Davies six-minute introduction

When he stands up at the Conservative conference in Manchester on Sunday, Andrew RT Davies will have to give the speech of his political career. He has just six minutes in which to introduce himself to the UK party as the new leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Assembly and to tell those who … Continue reading

Opposition united or disunited? Sharp End preview

The last of the political conferences begins this weekend with the Conservatives gathering in Manchester. Ahead of that, I’ve been talking to Andrew RT Davies, the new leader of the Conservatives in the Assembly who’ll be making his conference début. It’s only a short speech, but what a lot he has to get into it: introducing … Continue reading

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