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First Minister accuses David TC Davies of not being voice for Wales in Westminster

28 Nov 2023 3 minute read
Welsh Secretary David TC Davies – Photo Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Emily Price

First Minister, Mark Drakeford has accused David TC Davies of not fighting for Wales over funding from HS2 and cash to make coal tips safe.

His comments came in a rant during FMQ’s on Tuesday (November 28) about the UK Government’s recent Autumn Statement.

Labour MS Huw Irranca-Davies asked the First Minister if there was any progress on the Conservatives standing up for Wales on issues regarding rail investment and coal-tip remediation.

Mr Drakeford said that neither of the issues were mentioned in the Autumn Statement announced last week.

Investment

He said: “One of the most shocking parts of the whole statement is that next year, for everything we need to do in terms of investment in the tourism industry, investment in our schools, in our hospitals, the Welsh Government next year will get £6 million.

“£6 million was what the Autumn Statement delivered for every single investment need in Wales. Had those two things being delivered, by themselves they would have come to nearly £300 million.”

The Deputy Presiding Officer attempted to regain control of the Chamber as MSs shouted out over the First Minister who continued to sound off asking where was the Secretary of State for Wales’ voice on issues in Wales.

He said: “We should have had our share of HS2 money, the £270 million, and we certainly should have had the £20m, the very modest request we made for help with remediation of dangerous coal tips. 

“Where was the Secretary of State for Wales supporting that? Had he been prepared to add his voice instead of refusing to sign letters alongside me as he agreed in the last meeting of the coal tip safety committee, maybe we would have had that money, but we don’t have a voice for us speaking up for Wales.”

Responsibility

The Secretary of State for Wales subsequently hit back at the First Minister saying he was wasting time on “name blaming”.

Mr Davies told Nation.Cymru: “The UK Conservative Government is providing a record £18 billion a year to the Welsh Government through the Block Grant – ensuring that Wales receives £1.20 of Barnett-based funding for every £1.00 per person of equivalent UK Government spending in England.

“The First Minister knows perfectly well that £1 billion from HS2 will be used to build the North Wales Mainline. He should also be aware that coal tips is a devolved matter, meaning it’s the sole responsibility of the Welsh Government.

“The Labour Welsh Government has already been given £31 million in response for Storm Dennis, of which £9 million was to repair vulnerable coal tips. However, if they believe it is not enough, I urge ministers to re-direct part of the £130 million they intend on spending to create more Senedd Members on coal tips instead.

“I told the First Minister in one of our latest meetings that I would await to see the content of the proposed letter, before putting my signature to it. As Secretary of State for Wales, I cannot sign a blank cheque without first knowing the details – that might be the accepted norm from other governments but that isn’t what I do.

“Rather than waste time in name-blaming, I would urge the First Minister and his government to accept that coal tip safety is a devolved matter and they need to take full responsibility for it.”


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Annibendod
Annibendod
3 months ago

Whilst it is undoubtedly the case that David TC Davies is about as useful as a chocolate teapot when it comes to Wales’ interests, Mark Drakeford would do well to question the Welsh Labour MP’s that voted with Tories to pass the bill in which HS2 was designated an England and Wales project, thus denying us our taxpayers money for investment in our country. Another bunch of chocolate teapots. But I guess it must be easier to blame the Tories than accept personal culpability …

Jeff
Jeff
3 months ago

Of course he isn’t interested in Wales, only so far as it furthers his career. He is a lackey, a tea boy, beholden to No10, part of a government that has constantly tried to meddle in devolution and continues to do so. The autumn statement is not the great thing Mr Davies thunks it is. It has already been picked apart as a joke and something that will hobble future governments. We don’t have a capable Tory party in the UK, we have a clown show, a bunch of con artists, far right enthusiasts and a load of people that… Read more »

Rob
Rob
3 months ago

The position of Welsh secretary along with the Scottish and Northern Irish equivalents should be scrapped once and for all. They are unelected positions and a waste of taxpayers money. But I have no doubt that Westminster politicians both Conservatives and Labour will make up all the excuses in the world as to why they are necessary.

Richard E
Richard E
3 months ago

The Sec of State role is 100 per cent

Westminster in Wales

just as its Labour in Wales

Frank
Frank
3 months ago

Secretary of State for Wales = Wales’ Worst Enemy. Can anyone give an example of what this guy has done for the good of Wales?

Shifter
Shifter
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Can you tell me what Labour has done for Wales they just waste money they should be putting money in NHS and social services that’s where the money is needed not on stupid projects and more Ms in the senedd

Rob
Rob
3 months ago
Reply to  Shifter

The difference is Labour in Wales were democratically elected, whereas the Welsh Secretary is appointed by the Prime Minister. If you don’t like their policies (I’m not a fan either) then we can vote them out.

Why vote
Why vote
3 months ago

Has drakeford any idea what is going on, or is he so isolated the sennedd has become the real life YES MINISTER laws are being passed like rain seemingly without purpose, need, or requirement, only to justify the positions these people hold, and they want to expand the number of members in the sennedd, I love my country WALES, as for independence not while these clowns are in charge!

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