Andrew RT Davies has become the new Shadow Health Minister as the Welsh Conservatives reshuffle their opposition cabinet before next year’s Senedd elections.
The former Welsh Conservative leader has been a vocal opponent of the Welsh Government’s stricter coronavirus lockdown measures, calling their measures “inconsistent and incoherent” and “a mess”.
He replaces Angela Burns who announced yesterday that she would not contest her seat of Carmarthen West and Pembrokeshire at the next Senedd election. She becomes Shadow Minister for Government Resilience and Efficiency.
Welsh Conservative leader Paul Davies said that the reshuffle was a response to the death of former Member of the Welsh Parliament for South Wales East, Mohammad Asghar.
Laura Anne Jones, who succeeded Asghar in the Senedd as the next name on the South Wales East list, has been appointed as the new Shadow Minister for Equalities, Children and Young People.
‘Not business as usual’
Explaining his decision to move Angela Burns to the new Shadow Minister for Government Resilience and Efficiency, Paul Davies said that Covid-19 had reshaped his thinking about how government and public services should work.
“In making necessary changes to my Shadow Cabinet team, I have decided to be more radical in the approach we take,” he said.
“The delivery of reliable and responsive public services by front line professionals over the past four months has been remarkable, and I want to hard-wire creativity and reform into the way in which Wales is governed.
“In my conference speech to the Welsh Conservatives last March, I committed to the creation of an arm’s length body aligned to a future Welsh Conservative Government to ensure better governance in Wales.
“Angela Burns has previously shadowed health, education and finance amongst other portfolios, which, along with her significant business experience, make her uniquely placed to take on this key role. I have asked her to think radically and creatively about the ways in which government in Wales can reduce duplication, avoid silo working and minimise waste, and I am delighted a politician of her experience and stature has agreed to take on this key position.
“The prioritisation of this role within my new team is an illustration of how seriously a Welsh Conservative Government will harness the zeal and the learning experiences during the challenges of 2020. We will not be a business as usual Welsh Government, and we will not be a business as usual Shadow Cabinet.”