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Owen Smith 'delighted' to continue in post

Pontypridd MP Owen Smith has just issued his reaction to Ed Miliband's reshuffle. Mr Smith remains in the rôle of Shadow Welsh Secretary.

I’m delighted to be continuing as Shadow Secretary of State for Wales in Ed Miliband’s Shadow Cabinet, and will be continuing to hold David Jones to account for his failure to stand up for Wales around the Cabinet table. People in Wales have been hit even harder than those in the rest of the UK by this Tory-led Government’s failed economic strategy, with wages down £1700 on average, energy bills up £300 and 40,000 families hit by the hated bedroom tax.

In Ed Miliband we have a strong and determined leader who is taking the fight to David Cameron and his out-of-touch Government. Ed has put together a formidable team and in the remaining 20 months before the General Election we’ll be relentless in our efforts to expose the failure of the Tory-led Government to tackle the cost of living crisis and to offer hope to the British people that there is an alternative.

– Owen Smith MP, Shadow Welsh Secretary

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Caerphilly MP becomes Labour leader's aide

Caerphilly MP Wayne David has become PPS to Ed Miliband in the Labour leader's reshuffle of his parliamentary team. His appointment to a politically crucial job in the run-up to the next UK General Election is being seen as a promotion from his previous rôle as a member of the Shadow Justice team.

Westminster North MP Karen Buck has also been appointed as PPS to the Labour leader.

Labour's by-election hopes

The battle for Ieuan Wyn Jone's Assembly seat has already begun. Anglesey's Labour MP has issued this statement:

It’s decision time for Ynys Môn and the choice couldn’t be clearer. Plaid refuses to back Wylfa B and the 6,000 jobs it would bring to our Island. Only a Welsh Labour AM for Ynys Môn, backed by the Party of Government would be able to deliver for local people. All Plaid want to do is protest from the sidelines.

– Albert Owen MP, Labour

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Shadow Welsh Secretary hits back at PM

Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith has hit back at the Prime Minister's criticism of the Labour Welsh Government's handling of the NHS. He used twitter to say:

Another disgraceful attempt by the PM to divert attention from Tory failure to sustain the NHS in England by misrepresenting NHS Wales...

The reality is that Labour has maintained the NHS Wales budget at 6.4Bn - despite Tory cuts to the overall Welsh budget of 1.4Bn

A further reality of NHS Wales is that we're not selling off the NHS in Wales, or cutting nurses or closing any A+E

One last reality check on the Welsh NHS: 86% of doctors say they'd rather work in Labour Wales than under the Tories in England

– Owen Smith MP, Shadow Welsh Secretary

Welsh Government 'failing to act' - Plaid

Plaid Cymru has echoed the other opposition parties' criticism of the Welsh Government's Programme of Government progress report:

This is another disappointing statement from the government which fails to give us any real information. The aspects of Government performance presented in the report have been cherry-picked, and other aspects, such as the council tax benefit fiasco, have been left out of the document. Unfortunately, this is just another example of the Welsh Government failing to act.

– Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM, Plaid Cymru
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