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‘Understanding Wales’ not ‘required’ for members of Union Unit tasked with saving the UK

10 Feb 2021 2 minute read
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An understanding of the policy issues “relevant” to Wales is not a “requirement” in senior jobs in Downing Street’s Union Unit.

According to the new job advert for roles in the team tasked with saving the UK from breaking up, it is not necessary, though it is described as “desirable”.

The unit, which is headed up by Michael Gove, is described as “a high-profile team at the very heart of Government” which aims to maintain “the integrity of the United Kingdom”. The roles are available in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts has described the Union Unit as “half-baked”.

The listing on, says: “The Union Directorate is a small, focused team of policy professionals, analysts, comms experts and external secondees with a focus on making the benefits of the Union clear, visible and understood.

“The Union Directorate is responsible for the overall Union strategy, as well as driving delivery across Whitehall and beyond.”

The advertisement says that successful candidates will need “good political judgment, curiosity and independence of thought”.

At the bottom of that section, the ad says: “Desirable: have understanding of policy issues relevant to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”


Plaid Cymru Westminster leader Liz Saville-Roberts said the Union Unit was “yet another half-baked Johnson initiative”.

“A change of personnel can’t breathe life into this lost cause. Wales will find a future of hope and ambition through independence,” she said.

Boris Johnson’s advisor on the union recently quit number 10 Downing Street after a furious bust up over strategy to save the UK.

According to the Financial Times, Luke Graham, the former MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, left after what was described as “brutal” row.

There have been serious disagreements over how to counter growing calls for Scottish independence and it is understood that he was unhappy with his role.

Oliver Lewis, a key Tory figure in last year’s Brexit trade negotiations, is going to be leading what one of the officials said would be a “beefed-up union unit”.

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