New Welsh Secretary makes Cardiff visit

Visiting Wales for the first time since his promotion, David Jones MP was involved in a lively discussion with a teenager about housing.

Stephen Crabb MP

Stephen Crabb is new junior minister

Preseli Pembs MP Stephen Crabb is the junior minister at the Wales Office. As well as doing his new boss' old job, he'll still be a whip.

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Cheryl Gillan's praise for her successor as Welsh Secretary

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Outgoing Welsh Sec @cherylgillanmp has wished her successor @davidjonesmp well in his new post: 'No-one better qualified to do the job'

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Unless I've forgotten someone @davidjonesmp will be first Conservative Welsh Sec or Shadow from a Welsh seat for 25 years.

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The last one was Nicholas Edwards who left the Wales Office in 1987.

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David Jones becomes new Welsh Secretary

Clwyd West MP David Jones has been named as Cheryl Gillan's replacement as Secretary of State for Wales.

Mr Jones had served as Wales Office Minister since May 2010.

Andrew RT Davies, the Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Assembly, paid tribute to Mrs Gillan's "incredibly hard work and unwavering commitment to Wales".

He added:

I now look forward to continuing a close relationship with David Jones, who I know will do an excellent job in the role of Secretary of State for Wales.

He has been instrumental in delivering for Wales as Minister and is the right choice to take up this position.

I know he will maintain the high levels of determination we have seen for Wales in recent years and I look forward to working with him.

– Andrew RT Davies AM

Cheryl Gillan gives up Welsh Secretary Twitter account

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It's been a privilege and an honour to serve my party as co-chairman , signing off @torychairman , signing on @sayeedawarsi

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@sayeedawarsi signing off @welsh_secretary too but I agree great privilege to serve in cabinet but can serve party from back benches too :)

There has not yet been any confirmation from the Wales Office over whether Mrs Gillan has officially stepped down as Welsh Secretary.

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Welsh Secretary should drop plan 'to rig electoral map' says her Labour shadow

Today was the last day of the consultation by the Welsh Secretary, Cheryl Gillan, on how the Assembly should be elected. The Shadow Secretary of State, Owen Smith, has issued his response, claiming that it is an attempt to rig the electoral map of Wales that should be abandoned.

This Green Paper was Cheryl Gillan's attempt at rigging Wales' electoral map in the same way that her Cabinet colleagues were trying to gerrymander the results of the next general election. Now that those plans have been scuppered by Coalition disarray, Cheryl Gillan should waste no time in dropping her own proposals, for which she has no mandate. With not long to go before the Cabinet reshuffle, Cheryl Gillan needs to ignore speculation and get on with the job in hand. She could start by not hesitating with this decision and by dropping her defunct proposals immediately.

– Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith MP

Mrs Gillan's preferred option is to cut constituency AMs from 40 to 30, in line with the proposed cut in Welsh MPs. The number of regional list AMs would be increased to keep the total number the same. Failing that, she wants constituencies with much more equal numbers of voters.

However the Welsh Government has argued that any decision should be a matter for the Assembly itself. The Liberal Democrats say they will no longer back changing the Westminster seats but the Prime Minister says that he will press on with that proposal.

Assembly voting change 'not dead' says PM

by Nick Powell

During his visit to Wales, the Prime Minister was asked if the Liberal Democrats' decision to block plans to cut the number of MPs means that changes to the Assembly voting system won't go ahead. But he denied that the Welsh Secretary's consultation on her proposals is 'dead in the water'.

No. I look forward to hearing the views of all the parties and then a decision must be made.

– Prime Minister David Cameron MP

The Welsh Secretary, Cheryl Gillan, has launched a Green Paper stating her preference for cutting the number of constituency AMs from 40 to 30, in line with the proposed reduction in Welsh MPs. The number of list AMs, who are less likely to be Labour, would increase from 20 to 30.

She has stated that even if the number of Assembly constituencies isn't cut, they need to be redrawn with more equal numbers of voters, in line with the Westminster proposals which the Lib Dems say they'll block. The Welsh Government says any change should be a matter for the Assembly to decide.

Welsh Secretary 'reassured Tata is fully committed' to Wales

Secretary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan has just issued this statement following Tata Steel's decision to delay relighting the new blast furnace its building at its Port Talbot plant:

It is understandable that Tata may have to take the decision to delay the relighting of blast furnace four at Port Talbot in the light of the current business climate. TATA is operating in an extremely challenging market - both domestically and internationally, but I am re-assured that Tata is fully committed to its investment in the UK. This will be a commercial decision and I understand that there will be no job losses as a result.

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