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Cardiff Central MP backs Owen Smith in Labour leadership contest

Welsh Labour MP Jo Stevens is backing Owen Smith in the Labour leadership contest.

The Cardiff Central MP had been considered as one of Jeremy Corbyn's most loyal supporters - she was one of 40 MPs who refused to back the no confidence motion in their leader.

But she has now told supporters she will back the Pontypridd MP in the leadership contest.

In an email to party members, Ms Stevens wrote: "During the past two weeks it has become painfully obvious that we have been unable to fulfil the very basic day to day operation as the official opposition in Parliament.

"We cannot present ourselves as a government in waiting without leadership and a leadership team that commands the respect and support of not only members....but Labour voters and potential Labour voters."

Owen Smith 'not prepared to see Labour split' as he launches party leadership campaign

The Pontypridd MP Owen Smith will today launch his bid to be the next leader of the Labour Party

The ex-shadow cabinet minister will set out his vision for the future direction of the party at his constituency.

Owen Smith has explained the reason he is standing is because of the party's peril of a "disastrous split" and he's not prepared to let that happen.

He added "it falls to a new generation of Labour MPs to step forward and secure Labour's future. I am the only person in this race than can do that."

Credit: PA

He says he chose to launch his leadership bid in Pontypridd because his politics are rooted in the community.

This is the constituency I grew up in, where I went to school, where my kids go to school and I am deeply proud to represent Pontypridd in Parliament.

So I wanted to launch my campaign here, amongst the community which made me and to which I owe so much.

– Owen Smith MP


Kirsty Williams: EU students and staff welcome at Welsh universities

Welsh Education Secretary Kirsty Williams has said that EU students and staff are welcome and valued at universities across Wales amid concerns raised in the aftermath of the referendum.

Speaking ahead of her tour of Swansea University's £450 million Science and Innovation campus, she has celebrated the "long and proud tradition of European students coming to Swansea."

Now we face uncertainty and worry following the recent referendum. I want to be clear that students and staff from across the European Union are still welcome at Swansea University, indeed they are welcome at all Welsh Universities. Those already studying here, and those who are planning to come are still welcome, our places of learning are still there for you.

Let me be clear, we will not tolerate any form of racial abuse whether on our campuses or within the wider communities in which we are rooted. Welsh universities will continue to recruit and teach students from the EU and the wider world. The Welsh Government is determined to protect Wales' reputation as a friendly and tolerant place to study and carry out world-class research. Whatever the long-term implication of the vote, we remain an outward looking and welcoming nation where we are committed to sharing knowledge across national borders.

– Kirsty Williams, Welsh Education Secretary

Alun Cairns: 'Welsh EU funding can't be replaced by Westminster'

Alun Cairns: Credit: PA

Billions of pounds of EU funding for Wales cannot simply be replaced by Westminster, Alun Cairns has suggested.

The Welsh Secretary said it "misses the point" to shift the source of aid from the EU to Westminster after the majority of people in Wales voted to leave the union three weeks ago.

Wales currently receives billions of pounds from EU funding programmes, however the Vale of Glamorgan MP reassured Wales would not suffer heavily under Brexit and insisted it would receive its "fair share".

We've not yet concluded our negotiating position but I would add that simply replacing what are currently EU funds from one source with another source from Westminster misses the point.

The EU referendum sent out a number of messages, those areas which receive most of the EU funds were the areas which voted strongest to leave the European Union. We need to look at models of regional aid in a different way.

– Alun Cairns MP

Boris Johnson appointment as Foreign Secretary 'fantastic', says Welsh Conservative Leader

Credit: PA

Leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies has said Boris Johnson's appointment as Foreign Secretary in Theresa May's new cabinet is 'fantastic'.

The rest of the appointments to the new Government are still being made.

Follow the latest on ITV News here.

EU health and social care staff make huge contribution say Welsh health ministers

Credit: PA

EU health and social care staff make a huge contribution to the Welsh NHS say health ministers.

Vaughn Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health Wellbeing and Sport and Rebecca Evans, Minister for Social Services and Public Health have emphasised the role they play following the UK's decision to leave the European Union.

Around 6% of doctors in Wales are thought to have been trained in another EU country.

They make a huge contribution to our service and I understand that the referendum result may be causing some inevitable anxiety about what this means for them and their families. I want to reassure any member of staff who may have concerns – be they from the EU or anywhere else in the world – that they are extremely valued and that the NHS will collectively take a zero tolerance approach to any form of intolerance or discrimination that arises in any part of the organisation in the aftermath of this decision.

– Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport

EU staff are absolutely vital to the operation of our social care sector. They are some of the thousands of individuals who provide dedicated, dignified, person-centred care day-in-day-out. They are a key part of the world-class, integrated health and social care system we are developing.

The First Minister has written to the Home Secretary setting out the Welsh Government’s belief that EU citizens living in the UK should retain the right to do so after the UK withdraws from the EU. Now is the time for the Home Secretary to provide reassurance to those EU citizens who contribute so much to Welsh society, that they will not find their rights of residence removed.

– Rebecca Evans, Minister for Social Services and Public Health


First Minister congratulates Theresa May

First Minister Carwyn Jones congratulates Theresa May Credit: PA

The First Minister has offered his congratulations to Theresa May now that she's been confirmed as the next Prime Minister. But Carwyn Jones says he hopes for a 'more measured approach' from the new Conservative leader on issues such as migration and the refugee crisis than in the past.

I’d like to offer my congratulations to Theresa May as she is now confirmed as the only candidate to be the next Prime Minister - she will take the job at a perilous moment in the UK’s history. So whilst there are huge differences of opinion between our parties, and respective Governments, there are crucial areas where we must work together in the coming months – most particularly in relation to the ongoing steel crisis and in dealing with the fallout of Brexit. We also need to secure a decent Wales Bill, and a proper financial settlement for Wales.

I hope that the move from the Home Office to number 10 will give Theresa May some pause for thought on her past actions and rhetoric in relation to migration and the refugee crisis, and that we can look forward to a more measured approach in the future.

– First Minister Carwyn JOnes

Has Wales changed its mind over Brexit?

An exclusive ITV poll suggests Wales might vote to remain in the EU if the referendum was held again.

Almost two weeks after Wales voted to leave, the latest YouGov poll suggests 53% would vote REMAIN and 47% would be in favour of LEAVING.

The poll questioned just over a thousand Welsh adults and was carried out over the last four days.

Alexandra Lodge has been asking people in the Valleys who voted emphatically to leave if they were having a change of heart over the biggest decision made in a generation.

There's no going back on Brexit say Vote Leave

Vote Leave, the campaign that won last month's referendum, say the question has been settled. They were responding to an ITV Wales poll that suggests Welsh opinion has shifted in favour of remaining in the EU.

Last month, more British people voted to leave the EU than have ever voted for anything in a UK election. Let's be clear, this question has been settled, and attempts by the media or remainers unwilling to accept the result are unedifying and are only likely to add to any uncertainties around the future. It's time to move on now.

– Vote Leave Cymru Spokesperson
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