Speculation mounts that Simon Hart will be replaced as Welsh Secretary
Speculation is mounting that Simon Hart will be replaced as Welsh Secretary.
Downing Street has confirmed that a Cabinet reshuffle is taking place and it has been suggested the MP Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire is facing the axe.
According to Rachel Wearmouth from the Mirror, he will be replaced with the Conservative MP for Montgomeryshire.
Hart has previously been named by Sky News Chief Political Correspondent, Jon Craig, as one of the cabinet members rumoured to be returning to the backbenches.
One Number 10 source told the Telegraph: “The PM will today conduct a reshuffle to put in place a strong and united team to build back better from the pandemic… the PM will be appointing ministers this afternoon with a focus on uniting and levelling up the whole country.”
‘Out of existence’
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”.