Andrew RT Davies announced as Shadow Health Minister in Conservative reshuffle

Andrew RT Davies becomes new Shadow Health Minister Credit: PA

The former leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, will now become the Shadow Minister for Health, Social Services and Sport. Mr RT Davies had previously been the spokesperson on environment and rural affairs. The move follows a reshuffle by current leader Paul Davies.

Mr Davies has moved Angela Burns from the health portfolio to a new role of Shadow Minister for Government Resilience and Efficiency, with the aim of creating an independent body of that name if the Conservatives can form a Welsh Government after next May's election. The new role will be to find more efficient ways of working.

He said the appointment of Angela Burns shows his determination to take a more radical approach in future.

Ms Burns has most recently served as Shadow Health Minister during the pandemic.

Paul Davies' reshuffle has been sparked by the decisions of Angela Burns and David Melding not to stand again in May as well as the arrival in the Senedd of a new member, Laura Anne Jones, following the death of Mohammad Asghar.

David Melding keeps hold of his culture portfolio but also takes non the role of Shadow Counsel General.

Angela Burns said: "Shadowing Health during Covid-19 has demonstrated to me that radical solutions can be found and public service delivery can be better when there is impetus and drive for change. I want to harness the best ideas to make sure we have a more resilient, efficient and dynamic public sector in Wales."

The reshuffle comes, too, alongside the readmission to the party of Nick Ramsay. He was already back in the Senedd group after suing Paul Davies, who'd suspended him following his arrest on New Year's Day. He wasn't charged but remained suspended until he took legal action against his leader.

Nick Ramsay was readmitted to the party after he took legal action against his leader Credit: ITV Wales

Today Paul Davies announced that Nick Ramsay will remain in post as Shadow Finance Minister.

All eleven Conservative members have shadow cabinet roles despite a promise by the Conservative leader to cut the Welsh Government cabinet to a 'magnificent seven' if he becomes First Minister.

That promise came in a conference speech earlier this year which marked the start of a sharper approach to the institutions of devolution even while resisting the anti-devolution calls from some within the party in the face of defections to the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party.

If he became First Minister he said he would end the "gravy train" of Welsh politics by freezing the budget of the Senedd Commission for five years, refusing to increase the number of MSs, introducing a freeze on hiring civil servants and refusing to introduce new taxes.

Laura Anne Jones, has been given the Equalities, Children and Young People portfolio. Previously a member until 2007, she returned to the Senedd to represent the South Wales East region after the death of Mohammad Asghar.

Laura Ann Jones recently returned to the Senedd as regional member for South Wales East

Welsh Conservative front bench team in full:

  • Paul Davies MS - Leader of the Welsh Conservatives

  • Angela Burns MS - Shadow Minister for Government Resilience and Efficiency

  • Andrew RT Davies MS - Shadow Minister for Health, Social Services and Sport

  • Laura Anne Jones MS - Shadow Minister for Equalities, Children and Young People

  • Janet Finch-Saunders MS - Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Energy and Rural Affairs

  • Mark Isherwood MS - Shadow Minister for Local Government and Housing, Shadow Minister for Armed Forces and North Wales

  • Nick Ramsay MS - Shadow Minister for Finance

  • Russell George MS - Shadow Minister for Economy, Business and Infrastructure; Shadow Minister for Mid Wales

  • David Melding MS - Shadow Counsel General, Shadow Minister for Culture and Communications

  • Suzy Davies MS - Shadow Minister for Education, Skills and Welsh Language; Leader’s Diversity Champion

  • Darren Millar MS - Shadow Minister for External Relations and International Affairs; Chief Whip; Welsh Conservative Policy Director