Swindon MP Robert Buckland set to be kept on as Welsh Secretary when Liz Truss becomes PM
Swindon MP Robert Buckland is expected to be kept on as Welsh Secretary when Liz Truss becomes Prime Minister.
Sources close to Foreign Secretary Truss, who is widely expected to be announced as the winner of the Conservative leadership contest on 5th September, said that he would “shore up her left flank”.
Sir Robert Buckland, who was born and brought up in Llanelli, replaced Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart as Welsh Secretary in July, following his resignation after calling for Boris Johnson to step down as Prime Minister.
The South Swindon MP suggested at the time that he was happy to serve in an interim capacity after other Welsh Conservative MPs turned down the role.
But sources within Liz Truss’ camp told the Telegraph that they had essentially finalised the cabinet and that Robert Buckland was due to stay in it.
“One of the most high-profile victims of Boris Johnson’s 2021 reshuffle, the former justice secretary was brought back in July to serve in the interim government as Welsh Secretary,” the newspaper said.
“Sir Robert caused a stir by publicly switching his allegiance from Mr Sunak to Ms Truss. He is expected to be kept on at the Wales Office to shore up Ms Truss’s Left flank.”
It is the second time this week Liz Truss’ camp has briefed that Robert Buckland is likely to stay put.
According to the Spectator magazine’s deputy political editor Katy Balls the “hope” was to keep on MPs such as Robert Buckland to signal that other MPs from the ‘one nation’ wing of the party to support Liz Truss.
“While the ‘one nation’ caucus is largely sceptical of a Truss premiership, the hope is that by bringing some members of their wing on board, such as Tom Tugendhat and Robert Buckland, others could be persuaded to support Truss,” Katy Balls said.
Last week the Welsh Secretary defended himself against criticism that the role should be filled by an MP representing a Welsh constituency.
South Swindon MP Sir Robert Buckland also said he wants a “business-like” relationship with the Welsh government but opposes plans for the expansion of the Senedd and for more powers to be handed to Wales.
Mr Buckland, who was born and brought up in Llanelli, replaced Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart as Welsh Secretary in July, following his resignation after calling for Boris Johnson to step down as Prime Minister.
He told the Local Democracy Reporter service he doesn’t see representing an English constituency as an issue.
“If I was an MP for a Welsh constituency then I’d still only be directly accountable to the voters in that constituency”.
“As a United Kingdom MP and a minister in a unionist government I’m answerable to everyone in the UK.
“If the people of Wales want to get rid of me as the Secretary of State for Wales, then they need to vote for different parties at elections and help get a different government elected.
“But in cabinet I’m proud to speak up for Wales and make sure it gets its share of funding and what it needs.”
“I want to have a business-like relationship with the Welsh government. My job is much more of a convenor role, bringing different agencies including the Welsh Government together,” he added.
“But I don’t think now is the time for it to be trying to get more powers.
“And it’s talking about expanding the number of members of the Senedd and lowing the voting age. I think that should be only through a referendum.”
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