‘I’m still working here in Swindon’ – Welsh Secretary says accusations of ‘zombie government’ wide of the mark
The Welsh Secretary has said that accusations of the UK being run by a ‘zombie government’ are wide of the mark, saying that he is “still working here in Swindon”.
Robert Buckland, who took over as Welsh Secretary when Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart resigned last month, said that he was still attending regular government meetings from his Swindon South constituancy.
He told the Swindon Advertiser that it was no ‘zombie government’ as “the work of government goes on” despite much of it happening remotely.
“I’m still working at my department, and by the power of modern technology I’m still having meetings – it’s over the web rather than in the building mostly at the moment as Parliament is in recess, but we’re all still working,” he said.
“We are working to be able to present the new Prime Minister with options for their decision the moment they start.
“The government is still working. And I’m still working here in Swindon, and I intend to be here for a long time to come.”
Robert Buckland added that he wasn’t worried about a challenge by Heidi Alexander, the former deputy mayor of London and Labour MP who has been selected as the party’s candidate in a bid to oust him at the next General Election.
Heidi Alexander is bidding to win South Swindon, where Robert Buckland has held the seat since 2010 and currently has a majority of around 6,600 votes.
Ms Alexander left her previous seat of Lewisham East in 2018 to become Sadiq Khan’s deputy mayor for transport.
“I get on well with her and respect her, and I expect a good campaign, I’m not worried about a dirty campaign,” Robert Buckland said.
“But I was first elected against a sitting MP who item came back to stand at the next election, so they were both big challenges. Then I faced a very capable candidate twice in Sarah Church.”
He added: “I’ve made a lot of contacts and a lot of friends in the constituency and a lot of people know me and what I have done and am doing and will continue to do for South Swindon and my constituents.”
On receiving the nomination by her local Labour party branch, Heidi Alexander tweeted that the selection “means the world to me”.
“Am determined to build a winning team here and to make a real difference to my home town,” she said.
“It was so good to get straight out onto the doorstep to talk to people about local issues after the selection meeting.”
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