Differences of opinion have resurfaced between Welsh Conservative Assembly Members and between their leader and the Welsh Secretary
Opposition leader Andrew RT Davies says the 40% tax rate should be reduced if the Welsh Government gets income tax powers
The Welsh Conservatives' Shadow finance minister sets out his view of what sort of business bank Wales needs and why
The Prime Minister is expected to tell the Welsh Conservative conference that ambition for Wales should be measured by action not by 'how much you bang the patriotic drum.'
I come here today with one big, clear message: the Conservatives are ambitious for Wales. I look across this country and have a vision of Wales growing stronger and richer, of more decent well-paying jobs. I go to those vast manufacturing plants that are churning out wings for the biggest planes in the world...and I imagine even more Apprentices learning that craft and getting on in life.
I see the technology scene in Cardiff and think of all the new companies that can start there...Silicon Valley comes to the Valleys. Because for us, it’s not enough just to see London and the South East boom...it’s not enough just to see a recovery in one part of the country...we want it to reach the parts that were written-off - the towns where a fifth of people live on benefits inner cities where young people feel they’ve got nowhere to go.We are ambitious for Wales.
– David Cameron
Now of course – words are easy. Anyone can talk up their ambitions for Wales. But my argument today is that true ambition is not easy. It is measured not in your words, not in your love for Wales, not in how much you bang the patriotic drum...true ambition is measured in your actions.
The Prime Minister is expected to tell the Welsh Conservative conference that his government's economic plan is working here in Wales. He'll cite as proof that employment is rising faster in Wales than in any other part of the UK.
On creating new private sector jobs – the plan is well and truly working. Just listen to this. In this past year, we have seen the fastest increase in employment here in Wales than in any other part of the UK. Yes, you heard me right. Wales – which lost out in previous recoveries...Wales – which so often got left behind...Wales has, in the past year, seen a faster increase in employment than any other part of the UK.
– David Cameron
Faster than London. Faster than the South East. The UK capital for jobs growth is right here in Wales. That’s because we have a serious long-term plan – and that plan is working. So I want everyone here in this hall to hold their head high and be proud to say this: The Conservatives are back in Government...and we are getting Wales back to work.
Welsh Conservatives are beginning their conference with senior party figures expected to intensify their attacks on Labour's running of public services here in Wales. The Prime Minister and UK Health Secretary will be amongst the main speakers at the conference in Llangollen.
The Welsh Conservative leader says it will be difficult to reach consensus on proposals for further devolution set out in a major report this week. Andrew RT Davies said he feared crime would go up if the Welsh Government were given control of policing.
The Opposition leader said he would 'really struggle to advocate' some of the changes recommended in the second part of the Silk Commission's report although he wasn't saying 'no' to all of its proposals.
And he repeated his commitment to the first part of the report which recommended transferring some tax and borrowing powers. That, he said, was 'the missing piece of the devolution jigsaw.'
The Welsh Conservatives have limited themselves to thanking Paul Silk and his commission for its work, without commenting on any of the recommendations.
There have been arguments over the detail of the commission's earlier proposals on tax between Welsh Secretary David Jones and the Tories' Assembly leader, Andrew RT Davies. Those disagreements have only just been smoothed over after the Prime Minister met his party's AMs and MPs.
Today, Mr Davies simply called on all political parties to study the recommendations in detail "with the aim of achieving cross party consensus on the way forward".
Political Editor Adrian Masters asked the Prime Minister about the public split within the Welsh Conservatives and if he backs Andrew RT Davies following the reshuffle in which he sacked four Shadow Cabinet members.
Despite the row over Welsh income tax between David Jones and Andrew RT Davies, both men agree that there should be a referendum on giving the Welsh Government income tax raising powers -and that the Conservatives would campaign in favour. But Tory voters are deeply hostile to the idea.
Detailed analysis for tonight's Sharp End of the latest Wales Barometer opinion poll shows that Conservative voters are the most heavily against, with Labour voters justifying their party leaders' reluctance to embrace the idea. Lib Dem politicians' enthusiasm is not matched by their supporters.
- How would you vote in a Welsh Income Tax referendum?
- Labour: Yes 36% No 41%
- Conservatives: Yes 16% No 71%
- Plaid Cymru: Yes 60% No 23%
- Lib Dems: Yes 35% No 40%
If Plaid Cymru voters mostly want Welsh income tax, they too could be disappointed. Plaid's leader, Leanne Wood, has said a referendum cannot be a priority due to proposed restrictions on any income tax powers. (The analysis is based on how people would vote when choosing their constituency AM).
In response to the latest Wales Barometer Poll, Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said,
This poll confirms that the Welsh Conservatives remain the main challengers to Carwyn Jones’ lazy Labour Government, which has been in power continuously for 15 years.
Welsh Conservatives are the party of low tax and big ideas to get the Welsh economy growing again and put more money in the pockets of hardworking people.
– Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Opposition
These figures demonstrate that an increasing number of people recognise that Labour’s Welsh Government is to blame for poorer standards in schools and hospitals and the underperforming Welsh economy. There remains some way to go in reminding people where responsibility lies and the only poll results which matter are those on election day itself.
The Welsh Conservatives say fewer young women are studying science subjects at A Level.
Boys outnumber girls by five to one.
The Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales says a science plan's being developed.
It'll include actions to address the low take up of girls for A level physics.
Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies explains why he sacked four of his Assembly Members from the Shadow Cabinet. When I asked him if he's worried about the prospect of a leadership challenge, he said simply, 'Do I look worried?'