Much has been written about the reshuffle by commentators, so I am not sure what I can add. Rishi Sunak made it clear that politics is a team enterprise and all members of his cabinet accept the collective responsibility that comes with that, myself included.
On a personal note, I am delighted to be continuing as Welsh Secretary. It is the only cabinet role I would want to do and it is a huge privilege to be able to serve Wales. Working alongside civil servants, businesses and many other individuals, I am leading on projects to deliver growth deals, two new freeports in Wales and extra funding for railways. I am also heavily involved in the transition to low-carbon steelmaking at Port Talbot. It was nice to see former Prime Minister David Cameron return to government.
He brings huge gravitas to the job of Foreign Secretary at a time when the world is very unstable, with ongoing war in Ukraine and the potential for the situation in the Middle East to escalate.
Abergavenny and District Civic Society has refuted my suggestion that they were being a bit political in their comments on the Replacement Local Development Plan for Monmouthshire.
Their opinion on housing issues is entirely valid of course. It’s the fact that they were positive towards the housing aspirations of the current Labour-led administration at Monmouthshire County Council and somewhat negative about the housebuilding policies of the previous Conservative-run council that struck a political note.
However, they were courteous enough to give me advanced notice of their piece in the paper – which I am grateful for–and I look forward to working with the society in future.
More than £4m of taxpayers’ money may be paid to organisations with addresses outside Wales as part of a drive to plant trees on Welsh farmland.
The staggering amount was revealed following a Freedom of Information request submitted to the Welsh Government by Nation. Cymru. Farming unions have expressed concern for years about money being paid to companies based outside Wales who have bought farms and been paid grants under the Welsh Government’s Glastir Woodland creation scheme. It is outrageous that this is happening.
The Labour Welsh Government’s disorganisation is directly punishing farmers across Wales because they are missing out on vital funding designed to help sustain their business. Every single penny available from the Glastir project should be going to farmers in Monmouthshire and elsewhere in Wales. Farmers are the custodians of the land and they need greater support from ministers in Cardiff Bay.