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Stephen Crabb MP wants a leader who will unite the country

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WORK and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb said today (June 27) that the Conservatives need a leader who can unite the country following the vote to leave the EU.

The Preseli Pembrokeshire MP, who is considered by some a possible contender himself, said whoever takes over as prime minister must be someone who can talk to Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Speaking to a scrum of reporters in Westminster he said: “This is a really serious moment for our country, this isn’t just about party unity now, it’s about national unity.”

The comments follow David Cameron’s resignation on Friday morning after leading the defeated campaign to remain in the European Union.

The former Welsh Secretary who was also on the Remain side, said the new Tory leader must have a “plan for holding this United Kingdom together”.

He told reporters: “What I want to see is a candidate emerge who understands the enormity of the situation we’re in and who has got a clear plan to deliver on the expectations of the 17 million people who voted to come out last week,”

There is media speculation that the former Welsh secretary Stephen Crabb is reportedly being urged to stand for Tory leadership.

Prominent leave campaigner Boris Johnson is the bookies favourite to succeed David Cameron as the next Prime Minister.

But odds for Stephen Crabb to take the top job have been cut from 20:1 to 14:1 by some bookmakers.

ITV’s deputy political editor Chris Ship tweeted: “Tory leadership: @scrabbmp being urged to stand. Former Welsh Sec, now Work/Pensions Sec won’t say anything til after seen family at weekend”.

Crabb today has one of the biggest jobs in Government as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Mr Crabb says that despite “authoritative opinion about the importance of EU membership” blue collar voters “overwhelmingly decided on something different”.

He said: “The working classes decided quietly and collectively that the change they wanted was bigger than anything we at Westminster were offering.”

He added: “Even in places with low levels of immigration, this issue trumped all others on the doorsteps. For many people who don’t feel a part of this new age of globalisation, who are stuck in jobs paying barely more than minimum wage, who despair at their hollowed-out town centres, immigration is a proxy for all their concerns: opportunity, wages, housing, the future.”

Mr Crabb’s successor as Welsh Secretary, Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns, was asked whether he thought the Preseli Pembrokeshire MP could become Prime Minister.

He said: “It’s far too early to speculate at the moment; 48 hours haven’t even passed since the Prime Minister made his statement. There’s going to be lots of discussions…

“All I know is he was a very effective Secretary of State for Wales and has had a positive impact in the Department for Work and Pensions within the short time he’s been there.”

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Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50

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EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.

Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:

  • Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
  • Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
  • Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
  • Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
  • Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April

The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.

People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While  our programme has had to slow  due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.

“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.

“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.

“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.

“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”

People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.

The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.

Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.

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Nolton Haven: Man hospitalised after getting into difficulties in sea

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A MAN was taken to hospital after getting into difficulties in the sea off Nolton Haven on Friday.

Emergency services were alerted at 2.40pm on February 26 by a 999 call to the control centre.

The Little Haven RNLI lifeboat, Broad Haven Coastguard, an ambulance crew and a Coastguard rescue helicopter assisted police in the operation.

The male casualty was stabilised on the beach and shortly before 4.30pm, was then transported to Withybush Hospital.

A police spokesman told The Herald: “We were called to a male who had got into difficulties in the water at Nolton Haven shortly before 3pm.

“He was taken to hospital by ambulance.”

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Cyclist killed on A40 was serving police officer, force confirms

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A CYCLIST who died after a crash with a van on the A40 in Carmarthenshire was a serving police officer with Dyfed-Powys Police, the force has confirmed in a statement to Herald.Wales.

The driver of the van involved in the crash, which happened on Thursday (Feb 25) has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, it was confirmed on Friday (Feb 26).

Police are investigating the fatal collision, which caused the road to be closed for 12 hours, and are asking for any witnesses to come forward by calling 101.

37-year-old Lynwen Thomas, who is a former student at Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Croes-y-Ceiliog, Carmarthen, was a sergeant and a very well-respected member of Dyfed-Powys Police.

A spokesperson for the police said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues, who have all been offered specialist support. We ask that family members are given the privacy they need at this difficult time.”

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