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Labour leaders promise a productive partnership

First Minister and Shadow Welsh Secretary meet in Cardiff Bay Credit: ITV Wales News

Owen Smith and Carwyn Jones have held their first meeting since Mr Smith's appointment as the Shadow Welsh Secretary. Afterwards they gave a joint interview outside the Senedd. Mr Smith said they were old friends with similar views and he was looking forward to a 'productive powerful partnership'.


Owen Smith confirmed as new Shadow Welsh Secretary

Owen Smith has been the MP for Pontypridd since 2010 Credit: ITV News Wales

Pontypridd MP Owen Smith has been confirmed as the new Shadow Welsh Secretary. He replaces Peter Hain who confirmed yesterday that he was stepping down from the role in order to campaign for a Severn Barrage.

Mr Smith will be giving his first TV interview in Wales Tonight at 6pm

Owen Smith MP is 'definitely' new Shadow Welsh Secretary

There is still no official news on the new Shadow Welsh Secretary, but ITV Wales understands that Pontypridd MP Owen Smith is most likely to get the job. One source has told ITV Wales' Political Editor that he has 'definitely' got the job.

No formal announcement has yet been made but an announcement is likely within the next few days.

Peter Hain announced earlier this week that he would stand down from the role to concentrate on campaigning for a Severn barrage.


Severn barrage could be 'devastating'

Meanwhile, Friends of the Earth Cymru have hit back at Hain's plans for the Severn barrage saying it has "the potential to be environmentally devastating."

The Director of the environment group, Gareth Clubb, said the tidal barrage would "destroy" vast areas of habitat and "devastate" fish and bird life.

The group says it agrees that using Wales' natural resources for renewable energy is important in tackling climate change, but believe that the barrage could be the "wrong solution."

Tidal energy can be captured by other means with much less damaging consequences, and could be giving us green energy far sooner than the 20 years it will take to build this barrage.


'A great loss' - Ed Miliband on Hain

Labour leader Ed Miliband has paid full tribute to his departing Shadow Welsh Secretary, although there's no hint as to who he might appoint as a replacement.

Peter Hain has made an enormous contribution from the front bench over the past 16 years.

In government his Ministerial career was extraordinarily diverse including time in the Foreign Office, the Northern Ireland Office where he played a crucial role in the Northern Ireland peace process and at Work and Pensions. He also had the distinction of serving as Leader of the House for two years and remains respected across the House as one of our most distinguished Parliamentarians.

He has been a tireless champion of Wales for the past three years as Welsh Secretary and Shadow Secretary.

His political campaigning has not just been limited to his time in Parliament, before becoming an MP he played an important role in the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa.

Most of all he has been an exceptional colleague and trusted friend both in government and in opposition. He will be a great loss to the Shadow Cabinet but we know his service to Wales and to the Labour Party will continue for many years to come.

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