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Queen's Speech leaves 'real worry' over welfare says Shadow Welsh Secretary

Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith has criticised the Queen's Speech for failing to spell out how the UK Government will make £12bn of cuts to spending on benefits. He also said it was 'a shame' that the government hadn't set out full details of further transfers of power to the Assembly in a Wales Bill which is due to be published in the autumn.


Plaid warns of Queen's Speech 'threats' to Wales

Plaid Cymru is warning of 'threats to Wales' contained within plans for new laws set out in the Queen's Speech. The party's criticising what they say is an assault on human rights and free speech.

Plaid's Parliamentary leader Jonathan Edwards tells Political Editor Adrian Masters why he condemns a 'watered-down' Wales bill that he claims leaves Wales with 'second rate devolution.'

  1. Adrian Masters

Welsh Tories face tax split troubles again

There could be further embarrassment for the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd chamber this afternoon. The group had agreed to abstain on a Plaid Cymru amendment opposing UK Government plans for income tax devolution.

Click here for more details and here for further background on the difficulties this issue has caused the party. But I understand some of the still-disgruntled of four AMs (or five depending on who you include!) could vote against the amendment.

To the outside world it may seem a minute distinction but with an already tense atmosphere within the group it could once again make its split painfully public on an occasion when both Welsh Secretary David Jones and Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies will be in the Senedd chamber at the same time.


  1. Nick Powell

Conservatives "to abstain" in Assembly Queen's Speech vote

Welsh Secretary David Jones will today exercise his right to sit and speak (though not vote) in the Assembly for its debate on the Queen's Speech, including changes to devolution that involve giving income tax raising powers to the Welsh Government, subject to approval in a referendum.

They'll be limited by the so-called "lockstep", which requires any changes to affect all bands of income tax. It's an issue that's split the Welsh Conservatives. Four Tory AMs were sacked as shadow ministers for abstaining in a vote, although party policy in Cardiff Bay is against the lockstep.

They argued that Conservative AMs shouldn't oppose what the Welsh Secretary is doing at Westminster, even when he's out of line with what they've decided. There will be another vote today, when all Conservatives are due to abstain, rather than embarrass the Welsh Secretary when he's in the Senedd.

Queen's Speech: child neglect, NATO and tax powers

A Welsh MP's bid to toughen up the child cruelty laws has won the backing of the UK Government. Amongst the new laws set out in today's Queen's Speech, there'll be a move to widen the definition of 'neglect' to include emotional and psychological cruelty.

There were other measures too affecting Wales directly and indirectly in a speech that was criticised by the opposition as 'uninspired' but hailed by the government as 'a programme to improve the lives of the people of Wales.' Our Political Editor Adrian Masters reports.

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