Welsh Secretary recalled for vote that won't take place


If it's Monday, it must be Westminster. Or possibly Ho Chi Minh City.

Welsh Secretary David Jones - recalled from Japan for a House of Commons vote that won't now happen - is now on his way back to Asia.

Mr Jones flew home at the weekend after the collapse of all-party talks on press regulation amid Conservative fears that the prime minister could be defeated over plans for a new newspaper watchdog.

But this morning's all-party deal means his vote is no longer crucial and he is now - after a brief stopover that included a Radio Wales live broadcast - heading to Vietnam to resume his trip.

He said: "While I was very disappointed to miss the Philippines leg of the visit to Asia, I am looking forward to resuming the mission and completing the visits to Vietnam and Hong Kong as planned.

"My activities here will strengthen bi-lateral relationships and most importantly, fly the flag for British businesses and universities in East Asia.

"The UK education sector, especially Welsh universities, values international partnerships, and the links between us and Vietnam are already very strong. They are increasingly important in respect of research and innovation, and, during this visit, we are eager to identify and promote additional partnerships between universities in Asia and the UK.

"In Hong Kong, I will have the further opportunity to promote investment opportunities for businesses in the UK . Hong Kong is a major business partner for us and I will be seeking to do all I can to help open the doors for Welsh businesses looking to pursue opportunities to expand and thrive in this important international market."

Earlier today, we approached the Wales Office to ask for an interview with the secretary of state only to be told he was in "back-to-back meetings". These must have been arranged at pretty short notice, given that he was not scheduled to be in the UK today. Mr Jones was in fact on his way to the airport.

We don't know the cost of the abortive trip yet but Labour MP Chris Bryant has said the decision to recall Mr Jones was a waste of money. Let's hope the in-flight movies extend beyond Groundhog Day.

David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    Sir Terry Mathews, ?
    A man who loves wales SO much, he simply has to live in canada.
    Make him the assembly local government tsar immediately.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    There's been some rather dodgy connections formed between 'universities' and foreign students. Can he guarantee visas won't be revoked? I bet he had some questions along those lines, and no doubt, some suitably vague replies. If he carries on like this he'll be known as 'Jones the Travel'. Not much travelling to the Bay tomorrow, WG's on strike! Happy Budget Day!

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    I see Sir Terry Matthews has opined that Newport should become a district of Cardiff.
    That is one of those highly logical remarks that only an intelligent alien could make. Rather like suggesting that Liverpool and Everton combine to form one football club. Economics and logic are all in favour. All that stops it is people, and history.
    Maybe he could try something easier like reuniting Yugo'via

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Can't help thinking the Japanese are more interested in whales than Wales...

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    At least WS David Jones made his flight !.

    Unlike AM Alun Fred Jones who got to the airport 12 hours late for his JOLLY to Delhi.

    Late leaving the Ryder cup in Newport, though it was said that some flunky had "made an error" !

    Never found out the real cost of missed flight/accommodation etc.Or if he even went

    Never heard even a hint of an apology for the mess either

    Ah well, only money !

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Since this is a Wales politics site, and BP is walkabout again,
    May I complain about the Pharisees of WG who wish to censure an AM for not turning up to morning assembly - preferably in a sack-cloth robe, to be ceremoneously admonished.
    Let he who is without sin...
    And I thought the Welsh Methodists - with their 'just-a-small-cherry-brandy' version of tee-totalism - had died out.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Welsh Universities are struggling they should learn from other great universities, I am studying online at MIT Cambs, Mass. using their edX programme my current sourse is free as well.

    Their previous forays abroad have ended in tears for some Welsh colleges.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    ... the cost of flights is small change in the grand scheme, but will he make as great an impact when he lands in "Hanoi" (maybe "Ho Chi Minh City") as Robin Williams raised laughs in the film "Good Morning Vietnam" ?



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