New Welsh Secretary defends taking position in Boris Johnson’s ‘caretaker’ cabinet
The UK Government’s new Welsh Secretary has defended taking a post in Boris Johnson’s “caretaker” cabinet and has described himself as “a moderate” one nation Conservative.
Swindon MP Sir Robert Buckland was appointed after Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart quit the cabinet yesterday.
Mr Buckland, who was born and raised in Llanelli, said he was “here to help”, after taking up his new position, and also declined to rule himself out of the race to replace Johnson as the leader of the Tory Party.
He also said that Boris Johnson would not have the authority to do “new” things in government following his resignation as Prime Minister.
He said: “The issue about the Prime Minister and his character has been settled.
“He no longer has the confidence of the Conservative Party.
“He is resigning. That is right. But the business of government goes on. I’m here to help.”
Sir Robert said he would not have accepted a position on Wednesday, but the fate of the PM was “now dealt with”.
“He did the right thing and resigned. He changed the circumstances by rightly resigning,” he said.
Describing himself as a “team player”, Sir Robert said there was no such thing as an interim prime minister in the British system of government.
“This Prime Minister no longer has the political authority to do new things,” he said.
He also declined to rule out running to replace Boris Johnson as Tory leader.
When quizzed about being in the running to replace Mr Johnson, he said: “What I’m focusing on is values. I talk a lot about One Nation politics.
“I’ve always been a one nation Conservative, moderate Conservative.”
Pressed on whether he had leadership ambitions, he said: “I will support a One Nation candidate.
“I woke up this morning not expecting to be a Cabinet minister, so I’ve learnt to expect the unexpected in politics.”
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