Welshness don’t belong exclusively to Labour says Wales’ Tory leader as he calls for ‘distinct voice’
Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew RT Davies has used his conference speech to say that “Welshness doesn’t belong exclusively to Labour” as he called for the Tories in Wales to have a “distinct voice”.
He used the speech to break with the UK party on funding for rail infrastructure, arguing that Wales should get its share of money allocated for HS2 which has been designated an England and Wales project.
He also said that he would continue to make a case for St David’s Day as a bank holiday, adding that it was a “no brainer” after the UK Government refused a request to make it so.
His speech came after large Conservative losses in the Welsh local elections and a disappointing Senedd election last year where Labour won half the seats.
“Going forward, we need to continue to build on the Welsh Conservative brand and build our own identity as a proud Welsh party,” he said.
“Proudly British, proudly Conservative, we need to be promoting what we do in Westminster but standing strong and tall in the Welsh wheatfield – not bending in the wind.
“Much like our world-famous choirs, our unique whilst assertive voice must be distinct, whilst at the same time be in harmony with our political brothers and sisters across the United Kingdom.
“Sometimes the notes might sound different to reflect the needs of Wales and our people. But we are Conservatives and we have Conservative principles running through us.
“Because Wales and Welshness don’t belong exclusively to Labour. So let’s get together. Let’s pull on that red jersey. Let’s show Wales it can be done differently.”
He added that they needed to “pull the dead hand of Labor’s failure from the wealth windpipe of hope”.
“We’re making the case that Wales should receive its fair share of HS2 spending,” he said.
“We believe that instead of banning roadbuilding like labour, we need to push on and build a modern and sustainable transport network of road and rail.
“That’s the way that we can bring our country closer together. And we can put up the sign that says Wales is open for business. Only that way we can attract the jobs we need to close Labour’s wage gap.”
He added: “We will continue to make a case for St David’s Day to be made a bank holiday. That frankly is a no brainer.”
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