Knowledge of Wales ‘not essential’ to work for Welsh Secretary

Alun Cairns. Picture by Cabinet Office (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

A knowledge of Wales is ‘not essential’ for a £75,000 job as the Welsh Secretary’s director of communications.

The job of Head of Communications for the UK Government in Wales, based in Cardiff and London, is advertised as “the senior adviser to the Secretary of State for Wales”.

However, the job listing notes that “a knowledge of Welsh issues and Welsh language skills may be helpful but are not essential”.

The current Secretary of State is Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns, who has been in post since March 2016.

The advert was criticised by  Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP, Jonathan Edwards, who said that he considered a £75,000 salary on “a propagandist” to be a “scandalous waste of public money”.

“That the Secretary of State doesn’t even consider knowledge of Welsh issues or the Welsh language to be essential to work for the Wales Office is absolutely typical of a department that is utterly useless,” the Plaid Cymru MP said.

“Presumably knowledge of Bristol is essential.”

The Welsh Secretary responded that it was a “civil service post. I have no authority to intervene.”

‘Helpful’

The job advert notes that the Head of Communications will also advise the wider ministerial team and senior officials at the UK Government in Wales office.

He or she will also have responsibility for “campaigns, public and media relations, digital channels, stakeholder engagement and corporate communications”.

“We are seeking an exceptional strategic communications leader with experience of working in a complex environment that is subject to political and public scrutiny,” the advert says.

“Whether from the public or private sector, you will have an impressive track record in providing clear, balanced advice and professional leadership at senior management level on a wide range of sensitive and complex communications issues, and a proven track record of devising and implementing effective internal and external communication strategies.

“You will have a high degree of political sensitivity and professionalism to command confidence at every level, and will be a highly effective leader and manager of your own staff.

“A knowledge of Welsh issues and Welsh language skills may be helpful but are not essential.”

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Andrew John Teague
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Andrew John Teague

DAMNED insult

sue jones davies
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sue jones davies

cytuno

Phil Lewis
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Phil Lewis

Who’s paying for this?

Dafydd Thomas
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Dafydd Thomas

Of course zero knowledge of Wales required, it’s known that incompetents don’t like staff who know more than them. Strange he doesn’t ask for no knowledge of Bristol, who he represents, as well.

Tame Frontiersman
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Tame Frontiersman

It wasn’t that long ago that knowledge of Welsh issues or the words to Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau were not considered essential to BE a Conservative Secretary of State for Wales

Keith Parry
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Keith Parry

Does Cairns know any thing about Wales? He is minister for Bristol.

Gareth
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Gareth

Ah Bristol yes that big thriving city within an hours travel time of a million Welsh residents.

Honestly why are Plaid and their supporters so anti anything to do with Bristol.

Yes the SoS should be helping Wales grow and succeed (as should the Welsh Govt) but Wales can grow and succeed without a wall or metoporical wall being built at the border.

Dafydd Thomas
Guest
Dafydd Thomas

It’s economics Gareth. The Secretary of State for Wales does not want jobs and business to thrive in Wales if it disadvantages Bristol. his opposition to Airport Duty Tax devolved to Wales is a perfect example, he supported the bristolian tory MPs. To stop it.

Wrexhamian
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Wrexhamian

I was going to say that a knowledge of Bristol, Cheshire and Merseyside would be more useful for a Cairns spin-doctor, but everyone’s already reached that conclusion (except Gareth). Once again, full marks to Plaid Cymru for raising the issue.

Watching Welsh Secretary’s Questions is now a painful experience. He rabbits on about his ‘cross-border economic powerhouse’ and everyone else takes the piss out of Liz Savile Roberts.

Michael Matthews
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Michael Matthews

He’ll most probably give the job to an illegal immigrant.

Trailorboy
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Trailorboy

Is Ken Skates going to apply – he seems have little knowledge of Wales or anything Welsh. They’d make a good double-act.

In fact why not make it a threesome and include someone else who does know a lot about Wales, but would like all things Welsh to be cleansed for the sake of a unified Anglo-British culture.

Make it a cross-party thing with Dafydd El senior (well he was Plaid once) and you have the perfect pro-establishment group of three musketeers.

sianiflewog
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sianiflewog

What are you complaining about? How can anyone be expected to know anything about ‘the areshole’ of england? The country is a joke – the original inhabitants, on account of their adherence to a sub-human tonugeu which by the way is unlearnable, proves they are beyond redemption. The only thing the successful candidate gneeds to no is that this piece of real estate is ripe for the expancsion of the englsh race, much as Rhodesia, Keenya, and other colonies were. Ah the white English mans burden of having to ethnically cleanse areas! Still, roll your sleeves up boy, there’s work… Read more »

Ceinwen Statter
Guest
Ceinwen Statter

Same skill set as the boss then

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

Typical political appointment. I’ve never understood how someone can be in charge of transport one day then be in charge of health, then defense or agriculture. Knowledge of anything is clearly not essential for political offices. Yet we still elect these people, knowing they haven’t a f****ng clue, then wonder why things aren’t working. Might as well see a dentist about your piles.

Dawn
Guest
Dawn

We have a whole gov cabinet in England that is made up of people who have no knowledge of their posts. Take gove, no idea of environment and is a climate change denier. Mcvey, no idea about welfare, Gavin Williamson, no idea of defense. A lot of welsh born cannot speak welsh, and having no real idea on welsh issues could be a good thing in that there will not be bias. As long as they have willingness to listen and learn and act for what is best for Wales this post should be open to everyone, shouldn’t it? #devilsadvocate