Minister attacks devolution "blame culture"

You cannot fault the ambition - or the optimism. The newly-appointed Liberal Democrat minister wants to end the "blame culture" in Welsh politics.

Jenny Randerson, Baroness Randerson of Roath Park, was appointed to the Wales Office in David Cameron's reshuffle earlier this month.

She says her priority is to make sure the Welsh and UK governments work more closely together.

Lady Randerson told delegates here in Brighton: "When there were Labour governments at both ends of the M4 -even then, the Welsh government did not work closely enough with the UK government.

"But, since 2010, the blame culture has developed between the two governments. It needs to stop and the new team in the Wales Office - of which I am one - have pledged to work much more closely with the Welsh Government to deliver prosperity for Wales."

She said politicians owed it to the Welsh people to put their differences aside - but added: "As a minister in the Wales Office, I will be standing up for Wales - by speaking out if a UK government policy threatens to damage the Welsh economy.

"For instance, I do not believe that regional pay would do anything other than entrench Wales as a low pay economy and I urge colleagues to support the fair pay motion tomorrow."

Tomorrow, delegates debate a motion criticising regional pay, although"debate" is probably too strong a word for another exercise in the Lib Dems' strategy to differentiate themselves from their coalition partners,