The Welsh government was told to 'stop fretting about their own little status in Cardiff'
The Secretary of State for Wales has thrown critical comments in the direction of the Welsh government just as a decision has been made to remove Wales’s power to spend its share of the Levelling Up Fund.
Simon Hart, Secretary of State for Wales, suggested that Wales’s government should “stop fretting about their own little status in Cardiff” during a General Debate on Welsh Affairs in the House of Commons last week (25 February).
Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts, bit back, saying MR Hart’s ‘little status in Cardiff’ comments ignore his “own insignificance at the Cabinet table”.
The comments come just as it was announced yesterday that Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland would no longer have the right to decide how it spends the £800m allocated due to the Levelling Up Fund. Instead, Westminster will decide how funding is spent.
Ms Saville Roberts said that the decision is “overruling Wales, side-lining our democracy and dictating our future”.
Ms Saville Roberts pointed to examples where the Secretary of State for Wales has failed to deliver for Wales, including the ‘England-and-Wales’ HS2 project paid by Welsh taxes, as well as the undelivered projects of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon and the electrification of Welsh railways.
She also pointed out that Wales is due to lose a fifth of its representation in Westminster in the next election.
Ms Saville Roberts said that “decisions affecting Wales should be made in Wales, by a government that is accountable to the people of Wales”.
She added: “Through this ‘Levelling Up Fund’, Westminster is overruling Wales, side-lining our democracy and dictating our future.
“The Secretary of State’s comments yesterday evening that we should “stop fretting” about what he terms our “little status” ignores his own insignificance at the cabinet table or that Wales will lose a fifth of its representation in Westminster in the next parliament. Perhaps he should reflect on his own role before belittling our democracy.
“This announcement is a duplicitous mistake, a shameful sham of an election ploy. Empty words when Wales needs so much better.
“Decisions affecting Wales should be made in Wales, by a government that is accountable to the people of Wales. This May, Vote for Wales.”
Simon Hart has been contacted for comment.
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