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Welsh charity 'shouldn't have been in list backing Tories'

A Welsh charity says it should not have been included in a list of 5,000 signatories supporting the Conservatives' economic plans.

Diverse Cymru, which aims to eliminate discrimination and inequality in Wales, says it has contacted the Conservative Party to remove its name from the list immediately.

Its chair, Keith Dewhurst, is standing as a Tory candidate in the general election - but Diverse Cymru says those activities are separate from his work with the charity.

We are not affiliated with, allied to or supporters of any political party in compliance with the relevant Charity Commission laws, regulations and guidelines.

Diverse Cymru’s name should not and should never appear on any list of political endorsements such as the one published today in the Telegraph of entrepreneurs of small businesses, neither of which terms apply to Diverse Cymru.

We believe we were included in error and have contacted the Conservative Party to remove our name from this list immediately, and are also working to ensure that Diverse Cymru is not similarly cited in future.

Diverse Cymru’s Board includes individuals with a wide-range of political opinions and has a strict policy on board member’s party affiliations not forming part of Board discussions or decisions.

Although our Chair, Keith Dewhurst, is an active member of the Conservative Party and is currently campaigning for the upcoming election these activities are independent to and separate from the work he undertakes on behalf of Diverse Cymru.

– Diverse Cymru statement

The Charity Commission has said it will be writing to Diverse Cymru "to establish the facts and remind the trustees of our guidance. We do not expect to take any further regulatory action.”

130 small and medium-sized businesses from Wales signed the letter.

A software company in Berkshire has also said one of its staff has been wrongly listed as a signatory to the letter, published in the Daily Telegraph this morning.

130 Welsh small businesses sign letter backing Tories

130 small and medium-sized businesses from Wales have signed a letter in the Daily Telegraph, backing the Conservative-led government to "finish what they started."

They joined a list of 5,000 signatures supporting the Tories' economic plan ahead of the general election.

The letter, on the front page of the Telegraph, said 'a change now would be far too risky.'

The letter says: [the government] managed to get the economy moving again by tackling the deficit, helping to keep interest rates low and inflation down. We’ve been helped by their steps to lower taxes, reduce red tape, simplify employment law and get the banks lending."

Labour has responded by accusing the Tories of "five years letting down Britain's small businesses. Government scheme after government scheme designed to boost finance for small firms has failed, and small business lending has fallen by £500m in the last three months."

The letter has caused controversy after a company included in the list said one of its staff members had been wrongly listed as a signatory.

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Bring Commonwealth Games to Wales say Tories

As part of their General Election manifesto the Welsh Conservatives are campaigning to bring the Commonwealth Games to Wales.

The Wales team in Glasgow in 2014. Credit: PA

The Commonwealth Games were last held in Wales in 1958 where Cardiff played the role of host city.

Bids to host the games are made to the Commonwealth Games Federation and can take a number of years to complete. Glasgow played host to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Should Wales be successful in its bid, the economic impact could be significant with millions being spent in the economy during the duration of the games and the legacy of hosting the games would be very beneficial say the Welsh Conservatives.

Wales has always played an important role in the Commonwealth and having hosted the games over 60 years ago - I think its time it came back and I'm glad to see the Welsh Conservatives will be working to make this happen.

– Sajid Javid, Culture Secretary

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Welsh Conservatives pledge to increase tax allowance

Following the launch of their manifesto in Builth Wells on Friday, the Welsh Conservatives have outlined their plans to increase the personal tax allowance to £12,500 in the next Parliament.

The Conservatives say their plan will deliver for workers and their families Credit: PA

The party said increasing the allowance to £12,500, and the higher rate threshold to £50,000 would allow people to keep more of their 'hard-earned money'.

The Conservatives are also pledging to make people who work 30 hours a week on minimum wage exempt from income tax altogether.

The next Conservative Government will make people on the lowest incomes in Wales exempt from paying income tax. Raising the personal threshold is a really practical way of boosting take-home pay and rewarding hardworking people.

– Stephen Crabb, Secretary of State for Wales

Social housing tenants will have right to buy say Welsh Tories

The Welsh Conservatives have vowed to give social housing tenants the right to buy their homes at the launch of their manifesto.

The Tories also have pledged 30 hours of free childcare to working parents Credit: PA

The Right to Buy is among other pledges including plans to take anyone on minimum wage out of taxation.

The Welsh Conservatives have also called themselves the party of working people, with plans to provide 30 hours of free childcare to working parents of three to four year olds.

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