Tony Blair ‘didn’t care’ about Welsh devolution, says former top civil servant
Tony Blair was “not interested in” Welsh devolution, according to a former top civil servant.
Richard Wilson, who was Cabinet Secretary, made the claim in the BBC documentary, Blair and Brown: The New Labour Revolution.
The New Labour government’s manifesto included the promise to create a devolved assembly in Wales. Following a referendum in 1997, it passed the Government of Wales Act 1998, which resulted in the creation of the National Assembly for Wales.
But according to Wilson, who Head of the Home Civil Service from 1998 to 2002, and is now a crossbench peer in the House of Lords, Blair didn’t put his “political weight” behind it.
Wilson, who was born in Glamorgan, and was educated at Radley College, a public school in Oxfordshire, told the programme: “I remember saying to him, I said more than once: ‘There’s a real danger people looking at your first term will only remember the things which you were not interested in. Scottish devolution, Welsh devolution, House of Lords reform, freedom of information, human rights legislation. That is an amazing raft, but none of them things you’ve put you’re political weight to.
“‘Oh I wish you’d stop saying that’, he said”.
“‘What do you want to actually achieve?’, I’d say. ”