Welsh MPs in special debate

The Secretary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan, will face Welsh MPs today in a special debate at Westminster. The opposition will be led for the first time by the new Shadow Welsh Secretary, Owen Smith.

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Wales Office minister accuses Welsh Government of 'shameful and wanton negligence'

by Adrian Masters

Wales Office minister David Jones criticised Carwyn Jones' Welsh Government for what he said was its failure to plan to take advantage of overseas investment opportunities during the Olympics.

Speaking during today's Welsh Grand Committee Mr Jones claimed the Cardiff government was 'not intending to participate' in a British Business Embassy which would operate in London during the games. He said this was 'very regrettable' and added that,

If the Welsh Government doesn't take part, that would amount to an act of shameful and wanton negligence.

The Welsh Government has hit back with an equally withering response. A source said,

Not for the first time, the junior Minister in the Wales Office, seems to be completely ‘out of the loop’ when it comes to what's really happening in Wales. It raises questions about how much he is actually being told by the rest of the UK Government.

The fact is, the Welsh Government has worked with UKTI to ensure Welsh business interests are fully represented at these events. In addition, we will continue to use every single opportunity to ensure we maximise any business opportunities that arise from the Olympics.

This work will clearly involve the use of our new office in London - an office that the Wales Office bitterly opposed. Mercifully - in the interests of Welsh business and Wales' future prosperity - we chose to ignore their counsel.

Regional pay row dominates Welsh debate

by Adrian Masters

Controversial UK Government plans to introduce different pay rates for public sector workers in different parts of the UK have so far dominated today's meeting of the Welsh Grand Committee.

There have been signs that the Government is backtracking on the idea, but ministers at today's session stood by the principle, even if they dispute the use of the term 'regional pay' as you can see in this exchange between Labour's David Hanson and Wales Office Minister David Jones MP.

'Drift, dither and denial' - Shadow Welsh Secretary attack on UK Government

by Adrian Masters

Labour's new Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith marked his first appearance in the role in a House of Commons debate with a withering attack on the UK Government's programme of legislation. He made his comments during a day-long meeting of the Welsh Grand committee.

Below you can see his remarks as well as the equally withering response of the Welsh Secretary, Cheryl Gillan. Apologies for the sound quality - the acoustics in the committee room left a lot to be desired.

Welsh Grand Committee of MPs gets underway

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Treasury Minister David Gauke facing a series of qs on regional pay plans from Labour MPs on Welsh grand cttee….

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…despite reports Govt backtracking on regional pay, D.Gauke is standing by it:’we must ensure public sector pay reflects local conditions’

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