Andrew RT Davies reacts to Carwyn Jones’ re-appointment to First Minister

Speaking in relation to the First Minister vote today in the Welsh Assembly chamber, leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies said:

“I congratulate Carwyn Jones on his re-appointment to the role of First Minister of Wales.

“Welsh Labour took the largest share of the vote and has found itself in a position to assume a leading role in the governance of our country.

“It must however be remembered that Labour did not win a majority share of the vote this time round, and this must be reflected in the Fifth Assembly.

“I would seek assurances from the First Minister that the deal struck between his party and Plaid Cymru henceforth be conducted with greater transparency than the meetings which led to its agreement.

“I lament that up until now, details of these cloak and dagger meetings only emerged via reports in the press.

“Such a clandestine approach to determining the future governance of our country has no place in a modern democracy, and I would welcome more details about how the new committees will seek to ensure optimum levels of transparency.

“It is my contention that the new government should now in urgency turn its attention to four issues which now sit in the First Minister’s in-tray.

“Firstly, I urge the First Minister to continue working with the UK Government to support efforts for a successful sale of Tata Steel, providing immediate security for its workforce and a long-term future for Wales’ steel industry, on which our economy relies so heavily.

“Secondly, I ask that the First Minister once and for all brings forward confirmation of his plans for local government reform, and I impress on him the need for a referendum on this issue so that local people are afforded the right to have their say over matters which affect their day-to-day lives.

“Thirdly, the new Government must provide details as to how it intends to tackle the crisis of chronic staffing shortages in our NHS. Much hot air was expended in the Fourth Assembly on alleviating this issue, but it remains as dire now as it ever has. The health of our nation depends on a solution, which is urgently needed.

“The Government’s inaction over the urgent need for an M4 relief road is another area which must also be addressed. I would welcome some clarity as to whether we can expect a Welsh Government-funded relief road to be built during the next Assembly term and which of the two options they will be pursuing.

“In this case, the growth of our economy depends on how quickly we can get this project moving.

“We now turn some of our focus to the passing of the Wales Bill, which I anticipate as having a potentially irrevocably positive impact on the make-up of the Welsh Assembly, the country and the accountability of government.

“The Bill is a potentially landmark piece of legislation for Wales and will deliver an improved model of devolution for Wales.

“I look forward to continuing to offer robust opposition to the Government, and to working with other parties to secure the delivery of as many Welsh Conservative manifesto pledges as possible.

“I remain resolute that Welsh Conservatives are the only credible opposition to Welsh Labour, given that Plaid Cymru have shown themselves to be an enduringly agreeable partner to the Government.”

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