Union Flag alongside the Red Dragon at the Senedd

Wales in a Changing UK: 3

Labour AM Mick Antoniw sets out the case for radical change in the way Wales is run to end the 'dysfunctional' present system.

Union Flag alongside the Red Dragon at the Senedd

Wales in a Changing UK: 2

Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards claims the major dividing line in politics is now between nationalism and unionism

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Commissioner and Wales Office join forces to watch Whitehall's language

Welsh Secretary David Jones has tweeted that a member of the Welsh Language Commissioner's team will be seconded to the Wales Office in London.

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Pleased to confirm @walesoffice taking a secondee from Welsh Language Commissioner to help develop best practice in Whitehall

The Welsh Secretary says the move is designed 'to ensure the UK Government provides high quality services in the Welsh language where there's demand.'

No appointment has been made yet but the Commissioner, Meri Huws says that the official 'will work closely with (Whitehall) departments to ensure they develop their Welsh language services in line with the relevant statutory framework for the Welsh language for the benefit of the people of Wales.'

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.

Welsh-born MP promoted in reshuffle

So far neither the UK Government cabinet reshuffle nor Labour's Shadow Cabinet reshuffle have seen any changes, good or bad, for Welsh politicians. But the former leader of the Welsh Lib Dems, Lord German, took to Twitter to point out the credentials of one newly-appointed Lib Dem minister.

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Another Welsh boy does good! Stephen Williams appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary at DCLG . Congratulations #reshuffle

Stephen Williams was born in Abercynon and went to Mountain Ash comprehensive school before studying at Bristol University. He's been the Liberal Democrat MP for Bristol West since 2005.

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Reshuffle: frontbench Welsh politicians

As the UK Government cabinet reshuffle continues, here are the Welsh MPs and peers who currently have government rôles:

  • David Jones (Conservative) - Welsh Secretary
  • Stephen Crabb (Conservative) - Wales Office minister and whip
  • Baroness Randerson (Lib Dem) - Wales Office minister
  • Jenny Willott (Lib Dem) - Assistant Whip

Labour leader Ed Miliband is also expected to reshuffle his Shadow Cabinet team. Here are the Welsh MPs and peers in his front-bench team:

  • Owen Smith - Shadow Welsh Secretary
  • Nia Griffith - Wales
  • Ian Lucas - Foreign and Commonwealth
  • Wayne David - Justice
  • Christ Bryant - Home Office
  • David Hanson - Home Office
  • Kevin Brennan - Education
  • Huw Irranca-Davies - Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Mark Tami - Whip
  • Susan Elan-Jones - whip
  • Baroness Gale - whip (Lords)
  • Lord Bryan Davies - Wales, Transport, Treasury (Lords)

Cabinet reshuffle: no change at Wales Office?

by Adrian Masters

The news that Scottish Secretary Michael Moore has been sacked in the UK cabinet reshuffle inevitably led to speculation that change could affect the Wales Office too. But several sources say that Moore is the only cabinet figure to be affected which suggests that David Jones' position is safe.

Any further changes are expected to be amongst middle-ranking ministers. Ed Miliband is expected to reshuffle his Shadow Cabinet team too. Those changes could also come today.

AA: 'High price of fuel damages business and budgets'

Paul Watters is Head of Roads Policy for the AA. He believes rural areas of Wales would welcome an extension of the existing fuel rebate scheme, but warns that it must be 'considered and explored properly, with the areas defined fairly'.

He added: "We've done it in Scotland, so therefore there's no reason why we can't do it in Wales, if the communities agree."

Here he explains to ITV News the importance of paying a fair price at the pumps, and how this might be achieved.

How the current rural fuel rebate scheme works

  • The current rebate scheme allows fuel retailers within the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the Northern Isles, the Islands of the Clyde and the Isles of Scilly to register with HM Revenue & Customs to claim back 5p per litre relief on unleaded petrol and diesel for retail sale within eligible areas.
  • Fuel retailers within the areas concerned can register with HMRC to claim 5p per litre relief on fuel purchased on or after 1 January 2012 for onward retail sale in the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the Northern Isles, the Islands of the Clyde and the Isles of Scilly.
  • Retailers can make claims on a monthly basis and have 60 days following registration to reduce the cost of every litre of road fuel sold by the equivalent amount of the relief claimed. This is so that all consumers in the areas concerned benefit from the reduction in fuel duty.

The UK Government is proposing to extend the scheme to Anglesey, Gwynedd, Powys and Monmouthshire.

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