Welsh Secretary David Jones has described 2012 as a "golden year for Great Britain" as he refelects on the success of the Olympics
Welsh Secretary David Jones MPs will face questions about his department's record over the last year from MPs on the Welsh Affairs committee
Our Political Editor Adrian Masters shares all the days events from the Welsh Secretary of States first Welsh Welsh Questions and the PMQ's
Welsh Secretary David Jones is to cut short a major overseas visit in order to take part in Monday's Commons vote on press regulation. He's on day three of a ten day investment trip which was due to take in Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam and Hong Kong.
But a spokeswoman has confirmed that he'll return to the UK this weekend after competing the Japan part of the trip. It's not clear if he'll abandon the journey after Monday's vote or return to Asia.
– David Jones, Welsh Secretary
A free press is absolutely crucial to our society and I wholeheartedly support the Prime Minister on the measures he is taking to ensure we have a system of press regulation that will actually work.
So I will be completing all of my meetings with Hitachi in Tokyo, before returning back to the UK in time for this important vote.
Following criticism of comments he made during last night's Face to Face programme, Welsh Secretary David Jones has issued this statement:
I was asked on the Face to Face programme why I voted against the same sex marriage proposals. I replied that I had done so on the basis that I took the view that marriage is an institution that has developed over the centuries so as to provide a safe and warm environment for the upbringing ofchildren.
I made the point of stressing that I was fully supportive of committed same sex relationships. I also strongly approve of civil partnerships.
I did not say in the interview that same sex partners should not adopt children and that is not my view.
I simply sought to point out that, since same sex partners could not biologically procreate children, the institution of marriage was one that, in my opinion, should be reserved to opposite sex partners.
Welsh Secretary David Jones is facing criticism for remarks he made about gay marriage in last night's Face to Face programme. You can see the full programme here. Political Editor Adrian Masters asked Mr Jones why he recently voted against UK Government plans to legalise same-sex marriage.
– David Jones MP, Secretary of State for Wales
I was one of two cabinet ministers who did vote against it and it was for various reasons. Certainly in constituency terms, I felt that overwhelmingly the constituents of Clwyd West were opposed to the change. But also I regard marriage as an institution that has developed over many centuries, essentially for the provision of a warm and safe environment for the upbringing of children, which is clearly something that two same-sex partners can’t do. Which is not to say that I'm in any sense opposed to stable and committed same-sex partnerships.
Campaign group Stonewall Cymru says it's 'saddened' by the comments. Its director, Andrew White, said opinion polls show that 62% of people in Wales support the UK Government's proposals for same-sex marriage. He added:
– Andrew White. Director, Stonewall Cymru
We’re saddened that the Secretary of State for Wales should make such an offensive and inaccurate remark. There are many different types of family in Wales today, including many same sex couples raising children. It’s deeply undermining to families and children when they hear this sort of ill-informed comment. Fortunately, recent YouGov polling for Stonewall Cymru shows that the Secretary of State’s views are out of touch with the majority of people both in Wales and throughout Great Britain.’
London Mayor Boris Johnson left a pre-recorded message for Nick Clegg's LBC 97.3 radio phone-in to ask "when are you going to get all those Government ministers out of their posh limos and onto public transport".
Welsh Secretary David Jones MP has hit back at critics in a newspaper interview.
“It (travelling by car) enables me to do so without physically going through security at the gate, having to remove my coat or jacket" he told the Daily Post.
“I’m not in any sense troubled by this, it is all part of it. It’s not big deal.”
"The Secretary of State for Wales, Mr David Jones, did travel by car to Cabinet as he was reading Cabinet papers and briefing until his arrival at Downing Street” says a spokesperson for the Wales Office.
Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith has hit out at David Jones, after the Welsh Secretary was photographed making a 100 metre journey from Downing Street in a chauffeur-driven Jaguar.
– Owen Smith MP, Shadow Welsh Secretary
We like giving people a nickname in Wales: Evans the Milk, Dai the Pop...and now we’ve got Jones the Jag as our Secretary of State.
Still, he’s been so inactive since he got the job and made so few public appearances that perhaps he can be forgiven for taking every chance to try out the ministerial limo.
Taxpayers in Clwyd West, however, or the 5,500 people getting their tax credits cut might not all be so forgiving about his 100 yard joyride.
There have been very clear signs today that control over some taxes will be transferred to Wales and sooner rather than later. But there were some other signposts to the next steps in the devolution of financial powers in today's meeting of the Welsh Grand committee that are worth noting:
- It seems pretty much a given that the minor taxes will be devolved to Wales in the near future. The powers could be added to the next Finance Bill and if not, Labour and Plaid are planning to force the issue with amendments.
- Borrowing powers should follow hot on the heels of minor taxes because those taxes are widely understood to be the 'income stream' the Treasury is insisting on.
- Welsh debt will be British debt. In the event a future Welsh Government with borrowing powers defaults, the UK Government would be liable.
- Income tax devolution seems further away. The Silk Commission imposes a triple-lock before it happens: funding reform, administrative devolution and a referendum. Today it's clear Labour is adding a fourth test: 'certainty' that Wales would be better-off if income tax were devolved.
Labour remains highly sceptical about the whole process, with MPs questioning the motives behind launching the Silk Commission in the first place and making explicit their suspicion that it's designed as a 'backdoor' way of cutting funding to Wales.
We also learned that, while Treasury and Wales Office officials have been talking about the Silk Commission recommendations for some time, negotiations between the Secretary of State for Wales and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury begin next week.
Former Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy has urged the UK Government to transfer control over some minor taxes as soon as possible.
He said it would trigger the borrowing powers he claimed are vital for the Welsh Government.
In reply, the current Welsh Secretary David Jones acknowledged that the transfer of smaller taxes could be added to other legislation going through parliament.