Simon Hart clings on to Welsh Secretary role despite being tipped for axe in Boris Johnson’s reshuffle
The Welsh Secretary Simon Hart has avoided the axe in Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle.
Hart had been heavily tipped for the axe, having previously been named by Sky News Chief Political Correspondent, Jon Craig, as one of the cabinet members rumoured to be returning to the backbenches.
However, the Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP has kept his seat around the Cabinet table.
Rishi Sunak has also been kept on as Chancellor and Priti Patel is staying on as Home Secretary.
In other moves, Gavin Williamson has been sacked as England’s Education Secretary.
Robert Buckland was sacked as Justice Secretary in cabinet reshuffle after seven years in the UK Government, and has been replaced with Dominic Raab, who is no longer Foreign Secretary.
Raab, who has also been given the title of Deputy Prime Minister, was criticised for his handling of the crisis in Afghanistan which happened when he was on holiday.
Robert Jenrick has been removed as Housing Secretary, and Michael Gove is taking his place.
Liz Truss has taken his place as Foreign Secretary, it has been confirmed.
Earlier today Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP, challenged Simon Hart MP, to concede that it is “time to reshuffle the Wales Office out of existence”.
She pointed out the UK Government’s recent announcements including the Internal Market Act, trade agreements, control of state aid, and plants to cut Welsh MPs from 40 to 32, are all directly or indirectly “taking from Wales and giving to Westminster”. She suggested that ‘levelling up’ can only happen with a “a strong parliament in Wales that’s empowered to do the job”.
In the House of Commons, Liz Saville Roberts said: “His Government’s attack on struggling families this autumn will make more than four in ten families with children in Wales over a £1000 worse off.
“It’s no surprise that he’s content with plunging thousands of people into poverty. But these families spend their money in high street shops and local businesses. Government policy will be directly responsible for taking £286 million pounds out of the Welsh economy.
“This isn’t levelling up. This is hammering down. What assessment has he made of the effect of the Universal Credit £20 cut on the Welsh economy?”
She added: “The Internal Market Act, trade agreements, control of state aid, and now plans to cut Welsh MPs from 40 to 32. The pattern is clear. His government is taking from Wales and giving to Westminster.
“Anyone can see that levelling up will only happen when we have a strong parliament in Wales that’s empowered to do the job and directly answerable to the people of Wales.
“We all know there’s a reshuffle going on. Is now the time to reshuffle the Wales Office out of existence?”
Hart responded by saying he would not “rise to the last of the baits that she dangles in front of me”.