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Stephen Crabb MP appointed Secretary of State for Wales

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Future secure: Stephen Crabb MP has announced that Murco's will stay open.

Cabinet position: Stephen Crabb MP

PRESELI Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb has been appointed Secretary of State for Wales in the Cabinet reshuffle.

The new Secretary of State for Wales was first elected as Member of Parliament for his home constituency of Preseli Pembrokeshire in 2005 and was re-elected in May 2010 with an increased majority of 4,605.

He grew up in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, where he attended Tasker Milward School. He holds degrees from Bristol University (BSc.) and London Business School (MBA). Mr Crabb has said that his experiences growing up in a single-parent household on a council estate have informed his views on social mobility being important in modern society.

Before being elected to Parliament he worked as a marketing consultant. He has also worked for the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services and London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He has been a volunteer youth worker in South London and was Chairman of Governors of a large inner city primary school between 1998 and 2002.

Stephen has close links with a number of charities which help young people overcome challenges and is Patron of Pembrokeshire MENCAP. He is also Patron of the Friends of Haverfordwest Museum and Pembrokeshire Counselling Service.

From 1995-1996, Mr Crabb worked as a Parliamentary intern for Christian Action Research and Education, an offshoot from the evangelical Nationwide Festival of Light. CARE has been criticised for their opposition to abortion and gay rights. CARE believe sexuality to be a choice, curable by prayer.

Mr Crabb voted against the legalisation of gay marriage in July 2013.
He was also the subject of criticism for “flipping” an expenses claim to enable it to be recovered against his constituency home and subsequently designating a room in a London apartment as his main home.

In Parliament Mr Crabb has served on the Welsh Affairs, International Development and Treasury Select Committees. In January 2009 he was appointed to the front bench as Opposition Whip.

Following the formation of the Coalition Government in May 2011 Mr Crabb was appointed as an Assistant Government Whip. In 2012 Stephen was promoted to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Wales Office and was also given an enhanced role in the Whips Office.

When the leader of Project Umubano, the Conservative Party’s social action project in Rwanda and Sierra Leone from 2010-2012, Stephen Crabb took Conservative volunteers to work in the fields of Education, Business, Health, Justice and Community alongside local partners in those two countries.

In Pembrokeshire, Mr Crabb has been an advocate of the expanding renewable energy sector and has most recently been in the local news regarding the takeover of the MurCo refinery. He is also a founding Officer of the All-Party Dairy Industry Group in Parliament.

Outside of politics, Mr Crabb is a keen sportsman and enjoys rugby, mountain biking and tennis. He has run the London Marathon three times, money for local charities in the process. He also enjoys cooking, playing guitar and learning French.

Stephen is married to Béatrice and has two young children.

Commenting on the appointment, Preseli Pembrokeshire Assembly Member, Paul Davies said: “I’m delighted to congratulate Stephen on his new appointment. He is a dedicated and hard working MP, and his promotion to the role of Secretary of State clearly demonstrates the Prime Minister’s acknowledgement 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.”

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.

Stephen Crabb“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.”

Stephen Crabb 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 the UK and Welsh governments 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 between Liverpool and North Wales.

He added: “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.”

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Conservatives hold on to Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat

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THE CONSERVATIVES have held on to their Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat despite Labour closing the gap.

Sam Kurtz will take over the seat from the outgoing Angela Burns who held a majority of 3,400 at the last election.

This time, the gap was just 936 to Labour’s Hassan Riaz who picked up 10,304 votes.

Plaid Cymru’s Cefin Campbell picked up 6,615 votes.

The turnout in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire was slightly up to 52.12% from 51.2% in 2016.

However, with a larger electorate thanks to votes for 16/17-year-olds, the number of votes cast went up by almost 3,000.

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Paul Davies re-elected as Conservatives hold Preseli Pembrokeshire

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PAUL DAVIES has been re-elected to represent the Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency.

He won with 12,295 votes, while there were 10,895 votes for Labour’s Jackie Jones.

Plaid Cymru candidate Cris Tomos gained just over 6,000 votes and there were also 1,239 for Reform UK candidate Alan Dennison.

There were over 3000 more votes cast in 2016, down largely in part to the fact that 16 and 17 year olds were able to vote in this election.

Both the Conservatives and Labour received more votes than before while the gap to Labour closed to just 1,400.

After being elected, Paul Davies said he would continue to ‘fight for Pembrokeshire’ and thanked those who had been involved in his campaign.

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Former Cardigan Castle director sentencing delayed

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THE SENTENCING of a former director of Cardigan Castle who has pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft totalling over £40,000 has been delayed.

Former director, Jac Davies, pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft was due to be sentenced on Wednesday (May 4) at Swansea Crown Court – but has now been delayed.

Davies who held the £40,000 a year post fraudulently obtained £33,098.75 and stole a further £7,932.97 from the award winning restoration project..

Davies held his position at Cardigan Castle from September 2017 to November 2019.

The defendant has pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining £4,143.20 from the castle on December 21, 2017.

Again Davies admitted to fraudulently obtaining £28,955.55 between February 4, 2019 and November 3, 2019.

Two further charges of theft were also admitted – one charge of  theft from the castle of £1,908.18 between May 2, 2018 and May 24, 2019 and a further charge of theft from Cardigan Castle Enterprises to the sum of £6,024.79.

Dyfed-Powys Police conducted a year long investigation after being contacted by the castle board of directors.

Financial discrepancies were identified during financial monitoring.

An internal investigation was launched and Davies left his position within the castle in October 2019 following a disciplinary process.

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