Wales politics

Carwyn Jones 'knows little about' new PM Theresa May

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionCarwyn Jones says he cannot say he knows Theresa May 'at all'

First Minister Carwyn Jones has admitted he knows "very little" about new Prime Minister Theresa May.

He said he was looking forward to an early meeting and hoped Mrs May would be able to deliver an improved devolution settlement.

He told BBC Wales: "I've never met her, she seems to be a completely open book.

"If you Google Theresa May and Wales, you come up with very little in terms of what she's said in the past."

Mrs May became prime minister on Wednesday, succeeding David Cameron.

Mr Jones said: "I can't say I know her at all.

"But yes, obviously I'm looking forward to a meeting sooner rather than later, just to see what her view is on the future of the UK, in particular of course what happens with Brexit."

Mr Jones repeated his view that the eventual Brexit deal should be approved by the four parliaments of the UK.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The prime minister David Cameron paid tribute to his successor Mrs May, describing her as a "hard negotiator"

Congratulating Mrs May on her appointment in a statement later, Mr Jones said she was taking on the job at a "perilous time" for the UK.

"Following Brexit there is a great deal of uncertainty and economic instability which needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency," he said.

"I'm encouraged that Theresa May has recognised that the economy should work for everyone, not just those at the top - but we need to see those warm words put into action.

"Likewise, it is vital for the prime minister to recognise that Wales has unmet needs in terms of both funding, and a proper, lasting powers settlement."

Plaid Cymru's Westminster leader, Hywel Williams, congratulated Mr Cameron on his tenure as Prime Minister.

"While we have disagreed on many things over the past six years, his achievements in international development will be of enduring benefit across the developing world and his efforts to legalise same-sex marriage should rightly be one of his proudest moments," he said.

Analysis by BBC Wales political editor Nick Servini

It is striking how little many people in Wales know about Theresa May, despite the fact that she has been in the cabinet for six years.

Carwyn Jones's reference to Google probably summed it up best.

But even Welsh Conservatives acknowledge they do not know where she stands on a broad range of issue, but are consoling themselves in the hope that she will be a solid presence at a turbulent time.

And what about David Cameron's legacy for Wales?

Supporters say he "got" Wales. In other words he understood it, and he certainly came to Wales on a regular basis.

There were some eye-catching announcements such as the NATO summit in Newport, and an engagement up to a point on constitutional issues.

Critics will point to austerity and the way he set the tone on what became a fractious debate on the state of health services in Wales and England, when he described Offa's Dyke as "the line between life and death".

Ultimately his legacy will come down to the EU referendum, and of course we do not know the consequences of that yet.

More on this story