Give teachers and nurses a pay rise, says Stephen Crabb
Teachers, nurses and council workers should be given a pay rise, former Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb has said.
Mr Crabb told BBC Wales that anger over several years of modest or non-existent public sector pay rises contributed to the Conservatives' failure to win a majority at the general election.
He said voters told him they would not back him due to public spending cuts.
Many public sector workers are receiving a 1% pay increase this year, despite rising inflation.
Unions estimate an effective pay freeze for many dates back to 2010.
Speaking to The Wales Report with Huw Edwards, Mr Crabb said: "I think we really need to tune our ear much more closely to the needs of the public sector in Wales and across the UK.
"Clearly these seven years of wage restraint we've had, which has kept a limit on wage growth for people in the public sector, we probably need to be looking at that.
"It's about time people across different sectors had a wage increase."
He said the Conservative election campaign had "buttoned up" Prime Minister Theresa May, preventing voters from seeing her "range of qualities and skills".
But he rejected a suggestion from Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies that distinctly Welsh messages had been "marginalised".
"Overall the factors against us in Wales were exactly the same as they were right across the UK," said Mr Crabb.