Welsh Secretary Robert Buckland could stay in cabinet as Truss aims to build bridges with ‘one nation’ Tories
Welsh Secretary Robert Buckland could stay in the cabinet as new Prime Minister Liz Truss aims to build bridges with the ‘one nation’ wing of her party, her campaign has briefed.
The Foreign Secretary is likely to be invited to form the next government after the result of the Conservative leadership contest is announced on 5 September.
Currently more popular with party members than her own MPs, Liz Truss will attempt to ensure that there are MPs from the less supportive wing of the party in her cabinet, according to the Spectator.
According to the 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 same wing could support Liz Truss.
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.
“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.
On Sunday 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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