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Tory leader pours cold water on devolution proposals

The Welsh Conservative leader says it will be difficult to reach consensus on proposals for further devolution set out in a major report this week. Andrew RT Davies said he feared crime would go up if the Welsh Government were given control of policing.

The Opposition leader said he would 'really struggle to advocate' some of the changes recommended in the second part of the Silk Commission's report although he wasn't saying 'no' to all of its proposals.

And he repeated his commitment to the first part of the report which recommended transferring some tax and borrowing powers. That, he said, was 'the missing piece of the devolution jigsaw.'

Tories' muted welcome for Silk report

Commission Chairman Paul Silk handing his report to the Welsh Scretary Credit: Wales Office

The Welsh Conservatives have limited themselves to thanking Paul Silk and his commission for its work, without commenting on any of the recommendations.

There have been arguments over the detail of the commission's earlier proposals on tax between Welsh Secretary David Jones and the Tories' Assembly leader, Andrew RT Davies. Those disagreements have only just been smoothed over after the Prime Minister met his party's AMs and MPs.

Today, Mr Davies simply called on all political parties to study the recommendations in detail "with the aim of achieving cross party consensus on the way forward".

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Tories call for urgent response to Keogh email

The Conservatives are calling for an urgent response from the Welsh Government to the concerns about Welsh hospital death rates raised by English NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh.

The concerns raised in this email confirm our serious worries over standards of care in the NHS.Professor Keogh’s recommendation of ‘investigation’ into mortality rates should be immediately undertaken and no longer ignored. It is a matter of great regret that Carwyn Jones and Welsh Labour appear to have dismissed the advice provided by this leading expert.For the sake of future generations - Welsh Conservatives have long called for a Keogh-style inquiry into NHS standards of care.I sincerely hope that this will now take place.

– Leader of the Opposition Andrew RT Davies AM

Professor Keogh’s comments are further proof of extremely serious problems within the Welsh NHS.If this leading expert has offered assistance and raised concerns over a potential cover-up – he should not be ignored.I am staggered at reports that his correspondence has gone unanswered and I urge Labour’s First Minister to clarify these reports as soon as possible.

Mortality rates in Wales are of huge concern and I have long raised questions over recent misleading statistics. NHS Wales has suffered catastrophically from Labour’s record-breaking budget cuts. Queuing ambulances, bed blocking, rocketing waiting lists and missed response times continue to throw the service into crisis.A Keogh-style inquiry would address serious concerns and see structures put in place to protect communities.

– Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar AM

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2013 an unlucky year for Wales say Tories

The Welsh Conservative Leader says 2013 was 'an unlucky year for Wales.' Andrew RT Davies said Wales has been making headlines 'for all the wrong reasons,' highlighting international education figures, ambulance waiting times and problems facing Welsh businesses. He said:

Thirteen is unlucky for some – and if you own a business, have a child in school, or a relative requiring NHS treatment, 2013 has been unlucky for you.

If a crisis is defined as a worrying failure to get the important things right – or a time of intense difficulty – then Wales is currently in the middle of one.

The country’s economic levers remain dusty and idle. Still no council tax freeze – despite another freeze in England – and still no further support for small businesses. Yet taxpayers have been forced to buy an airport for 52 million pounds, when an airport in Scotland was recently nationalised for a pound.

A Welsh university student, currently in their first year, has spent their entire life in a Labour-run education system. During those 14 years, pupils have been let down and a generation has been lost. PISA results cannot be swept away by Carwyn Jones and Welsh Labour.

– Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Opposition

Welsh Tories attack 'four years of failure'

The Welsh Conservatives have marked Carwyn Jones' fourth anniversary as First Minister by criticising his record as 'uninspiring' and 'four years of failure.' Tory leader Andrew RT Davies said:

Four years of missed opportunities.

Four years of failure to reach the very best for Wales – on education, on health, on the economy.

All under Carwyn Jones’s watch.

Skewed spending priorities have led to a refusal to freeze council tax, record-breaking NHS cuts, and business rates relief that could be hugely improved.

Legislation has been hugely slow in coming forward and to date, Mr Jones’s tenure remains entirely uninspiring.

This First Minister continues to preside over hospital downgrading, appalling global tests in maths, reading and science, and access to finance for businesses that is inexcusably bad.

– Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Opposition

Tories welcome review of 'unjust' tuition fee policy

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies says the newly-announced review of Higher Education Funding is an admission that it's current policy is 'unaffordable.'

He told me 'it can't be right, it can't be just' that children from wealthier families get the same level of support as those from poorer families.

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