Conservative Party conference gets underway in Birmingham

Welsh Conservatives are facing up to big challenges as their party's UK conference begins in Birmingham today.

The issue of Brexit will no doubt dominate, as will speculation about an early UK General Election.

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First Minister claims Tories "insult" foreign doctors

First Minister Carwyn Jones has condemned the UK Health Secretary's plan to reduce the NHS's reliance on foreign doctors. Despite the current shortage, Jeremy Hunt is due to tell the Conservative party conference this afternoon that by training more doctors in Britain, it will be possible to recruit fewer from overseas.

The Tories have said today that foreign doctors and NHS staff are only welcome here whilst they are needed. I say they are welcome – full stop. We are talking about valued members of our communities, and they are valued staff in our NHS. More than that, they’re real people with real families. Talking about them as though they are some sort of commodity is in an insult to them, and the brilliant work they do every day in our NHS.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM

In remarks ahead of his speech, Mr Hunt suggested that there would be less need to recruit EU doctors in future. He also questioned the morality of bringing in doctors from developing countries.

Currently a quarter of our doctors come from overseas. They do a fantastic job and we have been clear that we want EU nationals who are already here to be able to stay post-Brexit.

But is it right to import doctors from poorer countries that need them whilst turning away bright home graduates desperate to study medicine?

– UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP

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