Crabb: Welsh cabinet job "meaningless under devolution"

 

And now it's official, as the newspapers used to say.

A beaming Stephen Crabb emerged from No 10 Downing Street at 10:40am to declare he was "very pleased" with his new job as Secretary of State for Wales. His priority? "Working hard for Wales". He ducked a question about becoming the first bearded Conservative cabinet minister for more than a century.

His appointment confirmed by the Prime Minister (on Twitter, where else?), Mr Crabb then took to the same social media website to tweet his own thoughts:

"Huge privilege to join cabinet as Welsh secretary. This government is ambitious for Wales, working to ensure Wales at front of the economic recovery. I'm looking forward to working closely with my colleagues in UK and Welsh government to see new opportunities created for Wales. Wales deserves the best and I look forward to providing a strong voice for Wales around the cabinet table"

There was also a tribute to his predecessor: "I will build on the excellent work of David Jones. He achieved so much during his time as Welsh secretary & leaves a strong legacy to Wales".

I would expect Mr Crabb to take a slightly more diplomatic approach to devolution, although Labour have already highlighted some interesting views he aired back in 2007.

"Together with uncontrolled immigration and relentless European integration," he wrote then, "devolution has the potential to cause huge and permanent damage to our country."

Interestingly, in view of his new job, he also wrote: "The roles of secretary of state for Scotland, Wales and (to a lesser extent) Northern Ireland have become emptied and somewhat meaningless under devolution. Peter Hain did two of the jobs for almost three years. Throw in Scotland as well and we can have one streamlined department of Celtic affairs. A reduction in the number of MPs in Wales and Scotland would go hand-in-hand with this."

I suspect Mr Crabb's views may have changed a little since 2007 - I hope to be asking him about them later for Wales Today.

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

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