Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Rishi Sunak happy to circumvent devolution, prominent support says

16 Jul 2022 3 minute read
Rishi Sunak picture by No 10 Downing Street (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Rishi Sunak should be made Prime Minister because he is happy to circumvent devolution, one of his prominent supporters have said.

Scottish MP Andrew Bowie said that Rishi Sunak was his choice for leader because he was a “unionist to his core” and his family “never saw themselves as anything but British”.

He said that it was Rishi Sunak’s idea to give levelling up funds directly to local authorities rather than allowing the devolved parliaments to decide how they should be spent as was the case with EU funds.

The move was described by the Institute of Welsh Affairs think tank as a “deliberate retrenchment of devolution to Wales”.

The majority of ‘levelling up’ funds for Wales announced last October subsequently went to Conservative constituencies, including £13.3m for the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site and £15.4m for the Montgomery Canal Restoration.

The Conservatives won 14 of 40 seats in Wales at the 2019 General Election but Tory seats received over 60% – £73.2m – of the levelling up cash.

‘Pushback’

Writing in the Times, Andrew Bowie said that Rishi Sunak was the “only one with the experience necessary” to “ensure our United Kingdom — our one nation — remains whole”.

“Unlike the other candidates, he not only speaks about the Union in easy platitudinous phrases that make us feel good about ourselves and our past, he has taken action to govern for our whole United Kingdom and is confident about our future,” he said.

“Wrapping ourselves in the Union Jack and humming Land of Hope and Glory will not keep the United Kingdom whole.

“We will do that by our actions, and Rishi’s actions speak louder than his words.

“He has led the pushback against the ‘devolve and forget’ mentality that permeates Whitehall.”

Devolution

Wales’ economy minister Vaughan Gething had previously described the plan to decision to bypass the Welsh Government and directly allocate funding via UK-wide funds as a “deliberate assault on Welsh devolution”.

Speaking in the Senedd in June, Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said: “These UK proposals represent a new era of aggressive centralisation. One that deliver a very clear, message to Wales: ‘you’ll get what you’re given.’

“It’s an approach that provokes division based on an economic rationale that is difficult to identify, let alone endorse.

“Worse still, this top down, throwback to pre devolution economic policy is a deliberate assault on Welsh devolution. As things stand, Wales is set to have less say, over less money.”

A report published by a Westminster committee last month called on the UK Government to work more closely with the devolved governments on allocating the funds.

The report said that they “were sceptical about how close past cooperation with devolved Governments had really been and the extent to which it enabled national priorities to be accommodated, though we acknowledged that co-operation between officials appeared to have improved”.


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

17 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
4 months ago

Just for the record read Michael Rosen’s piece in the comment section of today’s Guardian about Covid 19 and think about Rishi Sunak’s part in it…Mr Drakeford we in Wales need our own investigation into what really went on…

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
4 months ago

Forget devolution, we shall have Independence!

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
4 months ago

This arrogant attitude shows all that this English fascist Conservative government and its backward supporters are a political cancer that devours democracy. They are playing dangerous games.

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
4 months ago

Told you so! never ever trust a fu*king tory

Arwyn
Arwyn
4 months ago

The bigger problem IMHO is Labour UK as led by Starmer has decided to take the fight to the Conservative Party on Tory terms. Refusing to negotiate with the SNP, ruling out a Scottish referendum, vowing to unilaterally legislate to “save the Union”, Starmer standing in front of a Union flag every time he gives a speech. Labour’s antidote to radical Tory Nationalism is to double down on it. All of which beggars the question, what will Welsh Labour do about it all?

Last edited 4 months ago by Arwyn
Gareth
Gareth
4 months ago
Reply to  Arwyn

Labour in Cymru,judging by past actions, nothing. Inferior devo settlement to both Scotland and N Ireland, less powers than London, Manchester re policing, they seemed to just accept what London hands down to them. If they had any guts they would have played holy hell about it,and acted more like the SNP, when they feel slighted.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
4 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

Expect our Lords to kick up a fuss in the House of Fun or anyone with aspirations in that direction and disappointment awaits…

Rob
Rob
4 months ago
Reply to  Arwyn

English Labour would have more to lose than the Tories would if the UK breaks up. Welsh Labour MPs will want to keep everything ‘England and Wales’ just to ensure their jobs are justified. The fact that we will soon have less MPs and a bigger Senedd however is a good thing. But what I do hope for is a hung parliament. Starmer has made it clear that there would be no deal with the SNP, but to be honest he may have no choice. Another possibility is Labour striking a deal with the Lib Dems if the arithmetic allows… Read more »

Arwyn
Arwyn
4 months ago
Reply to  Rob

The fact that we will soon have less MPs and a bigger Senedd however is a good thing.”

I think this is very significant. I haven’t thought of it before. To what extent will the focus switch more towards the Senedd in terms of a political career. Labour can probably expect twenty-ish Welsh MP’s and probably close to double that number of MS’s.

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
4 months ago
Reply to  Arwyn

Don’t forget, the English tories are already interfering and trying to prevent the Senedd expanding, what do you think will happen when they’ve reorganised themselves and there’s a new PM and Welsh Minister, nothing good is going to come from johnson standing down, England is on a downward spiral and they will drag us down with them. The tories are openly anti Wales, we’ve seen it in recent elections where Welsh tory candidates said they would work to abolish the Senedd.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
4 months ago

‘Tory seats received over 60% – £73.2m – of the levelling up cash’.

I live and work in a Tory seat, but I can’t see any difference. What are they spending it on?

David
David
4 months ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

Brown envelopes!

Llyn
Llyn
4 months ago

It’s a strange, and I believe self defeating, outlook that many so called “unionists” hold that devolution has to be seen as an enemy of a “United” Kingdom and that an almost religious belief in centralisation can be the only constitutional outlook of a true Unionist.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
4 months ago
Reply to  Llyn

Just as it did for the USSR and Yugoslavia.

A centralised union directed from Moscow and Belgrade didn’t work and it wouldn’t work from London.

Nia James
Nia James
4 months ago

Tom Tugendhat yesterday spoke about “taking on the SNP” to create “one Britain”. He will not become PM but his wish will inevitably happen. It will be another 1984-5 battle against “the enemy within”. As for us, they’ll trample all over Welsh Labour, Plaid and the Senedd. The Tories are taking off their gloves in preparation for the ideological fight ahead, whilst we will let it all happen with our hands firmly tied behind our backs.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
4 months ago

‘Circumvent devolution’ actually means stamp out democracy.

Pete Cuthbert
Pete Cuthbert
4 months ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Perhaps we need to take a slightly different line in our fight back against the centralising Unionists. Should we not be pressing them about what their One Nation kingdom is to look like in the future? Will all parts of the One Nation be equally served by public transport investment? Will all parts of this One Nation have the same access to health care spending, etc. etc. We need to attack them on that and if they cannot assure us that this One Nation is economically equal then Independence is the only obvious answer. (After all, look what the West… Read more »

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.