Swindon MP Robert Buckland becomes the new Welsh Secretary
Swindon MP Sir Robert Buckland will be the new Welsh Secretary.
Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart resigned yesterday.
Robert Buckland was born and raised in Llanelli but becomes the first Welsh Secretary since the late Cheryl Gillan under David Cameron not to represent a Welsh constituency.
He served as Solicitor General for England and Wales from 2014 to 2019, until he became Minister of State for Prisons. He was appointed Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor by Boris Johnson in July 2019, serving until the cabinet reshuffle in September 2021.
Robert Buckland’s appointment as Wales Secretary means 7 of 12 Conservatives to have held the role have done so despite not representing a Welsh constituency
— Luke James (@LEJ88) July 7, 2022
His appointment comes less than 24 hours after he called for Boris Johnson to resign as Prime Minister.
Speaking to The Telegraph, he said: “The PM no longer has my support. I think that the events of the last few days have only served to heighten the increasingly unrealistic situation in which we find ourselves.
“The office of Prime Minister depends on several factors: integrity, honesty, and straightforwardness.
“And if those attributes are no longer clear or no longer operable, then I’m afraid that the person in office has to go. And it’s on that basis I think that now is the time for the Prime Minister to step down. We need to seek an alternative as soon as possible.”
Andrew RT Davies MS, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, said he was “sorry to see Simon Hart leave the Wales Office under extraordinary circumstances”.
“Since being appointed in December 2019 his help, support and dedication to Wales have been unwavering,” he said.
“I also want to pay tribute to his fantastic ministerial team, David TC Davies and Virginia Crosbie, and all the hardworking Wales Office staff.
“I look forward to working with the new Secretary of State for Wales, Llanelli-born, Welsh speaker Robert Buckland, who I first met when we both went for selection to the seat of Brecon and Radnor over 20 years ago.
“We fully recognise the interim nature of the cabinet appointments, but it is essential they focus on the opportunities and challenges facing the people of Wales today.
“It’s now vital that the Party get on with selecting a new leader to take over as Prime Minister and continue to deliver on the mandate the British people gave to the Conservative Party in 2019, enacting our manifesto commitments in the remainder of this parliament.”
Robert Buckland’s appointment comes after The Wales Office’s second in command, Monmouth MP David TC Davies, said that he won’t take the Welsh Secretary post.
David TC Davies said that he had made “clear last night” that he would not take the role if Simon Hart vacated the post.
The Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP resigned as Welsh Secretary last night saying he had “no other option left” after being among a delegation of ministers that went to Downing Street to encourage the Prime Minister to step down.
David TC Davies, who is the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, gave no indication at the time that he would be following him in resigning but posted his former boss’ resignation letter online.
“It has been a privilege to work for Simon who did a great job as Sec of State for Wales,” he said. “We should not be in the position of losing decent and hard working Ministers. I made clear last night that I will not take the role.”
Wales Office PPS, Ynys Môn’s MP Virginia Crosbie, was one of the first to resign on Tuesday, meaning that David TC Davies is now the only minister left in the Wales Office.
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