PRESELI Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb will join the UK Government Cabinet as Secretary of State for Wales, it has just been confirmed.
Yesterday (Monday) David Jones MP had confirmed that he was no longer Secretary of State following Prime Minister David Cameron’s wide-ranging reshuffle.
By Monday evening Mr Crabb was receiving congratulations on social media, with high-profile former Conservative MP Louise Mensch among those tweeting Mr Crabb to offer her best wishes on the promotion.
Mr Crabb arrived at Downing Street at 10.10am today to be handed a seat at the top table of UK Government.
He said: "It is a huge privilege to join the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Wales. As a government, we are ambitious for Wales and determined that Wales should be at the forefront of the UK economic recovery. I will be working closely with my colleagues in UK and Welsh government to see new opportunities created for Wales. People and businesses across Wales want to see the two governments working together effectively and delivering the investment our nation needs. I believe that Wales deserves the best and I look forward to providing a strong voice for Wales around the Cabinet table."
"I will build on the excellent work of my predecessor, David Jones, who achieved so much during his time as Welsh Secretary. He leaves a strong legacy to Wales, not least in breaking new ground in the devolution settlement by devolving tax powers to Wales. He also worked hard to secure new investment for the new nuclear power station at Wylfa, the new prison in Wrexham and reopening the Halton Curve line to connect Liverpool and North Wales by rail.
“It is a massive honour to be the first Welsh Secretary of State from Pembrokeshire since Nick Edwards in the 1980s. I have an opportunity now to work hard for the whole of Wales in the same way I have always sought to do for Pembrokeshire.
“The first priority of any MP, regardless of their position in government, is to put the needs of their constituency first and I will always do this for Preseli Pembrokeshire.”
Preseli Pembrokeshire Assembly Member, Paul Davies said: “I’m delighted to congratulate Stephen on his new appointment. He is a dedicated and hardworking MP, and his promotion to the role of Secretary of State clearly demonstrates the Prime Minister’s acknowledgment of his talents and skills.
I am privileged to work closely with him at a local level where he is fully committed to Preseli Pembrokeshire. I know that he will be an excellent Secretary of State who will be a strong voice for Wales across the Cabinet table, and of course, a huge asset to the people across the whole of our country.”
Mr Crabb, who was first elected MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire in 2005 and re-elected in May 2010, has been a Wales Office Minister since September 2012.
The former Tasker Milward pupil had previously been made an Assistant Whip following the formation of the Coalition Government.
Mr Crabb is married to Béatrice and has two young children.
Commenting on the appointment of Stephen Crabb as Secretary of State for Wales, shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith MP, said: “Congratulations to Stephen Crabb on his appointment as the third Secretary of State for Wales in the last 22 months.
"It is a great privilege for anyone to be asked to serve as the Secretary of State for our country and Mr Crabb now has an equally great responsibility to break free from the ceaseless negativity that has characterised his predecessors’ attitude to Wales and the achievements of the Welsh Government.
“I have written to the new Secretary of State today to formally offer my congratulations, but also to call on him to go into the new job with the aim of standing up for our nation, rather than indulging in politicised attacks on Wales, with the aim of winning votes in England.
"The Wales Office can play a vital role in being the voice of Wales at Westminster, but it has recently been reduced to a crude propaganda machine attacking the very country it is supposed to represent, as a proxy for attacking the wider Labour Party. Speaking from the steps of 10 Downing Street Mr Crabb has this morning pledged to ‘work hard for Wales’. I hope and trust that will be the case, and that the war on Wales might end on his watch.
“Mr Crabb shares with his predecessor a long stated scepticism about the value of devolution, calling it in the past a form of ‘constitutional vandalism’, and he will thus face legitimate questions about his commitment to the devolved settlement and his desire to take it forward. He not long ago lamented that it was no longer saleable ‘to call for the abolition of the devolved institutions’. Let’s hope he takes a more enlightened view now he’s responsible for them. A key test for Mr Crabb in this regard will be whether he supports the Silk Commission and Labour’s view that our country should have the same, ‘reserved’ model of devolved powers as those applied in Scotland.”