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Conservatives wiped out in Wales as Labour vote falls

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THE CONSERVATIVES were wiped out in Wales for the first time since 2001 in an election that poses as many questions as it answers.Labour’s percentage of the Welsh vote usually easily outstrips the Party’s in the rest of the UK. However, an unpopular Welsh Government led by an even more unpopular First Minister saw Labour’s share of the vote decline across Wales, even as it picked up seats.

Plaid Cymru did better than expected. The Party of Wales won four seats, two of them, Ceredigion & Preseli and Dwyfor Meirionydd, by huge margins that suggest it now has a pair of safe seats for the first time in the Party’s history.
Although national polls predicted a Labour win in Caerfyrddin, the parties’ canvass returns in Carmarthenshire did not lie. The Labour vote fell back in our eastern neighbour, while Plaid increased its vote share by a small proportion to retain Jonathan Edwards’ former seat.

On Ynys Mon, a surge in support for Reform UK almost certainly handed Plaid Cymru’s Llinos Medi victory by 1500 votes over former Conservative MP Virginia Crosbie. Ynys Mon also saw the Labour vote drop in one of the few three-way marginals in the UK.
Alun Cairns, Stephen Crabb, David TC Davies, and Simon Hart – all former Welsh Secretaries, lost their seats. In the case of the first two former Secretaries of State, the margin was around 1500 votes, with Reform scoring well and proving the difference between their return and a Labour gain.

Labour threw the kitchen sink in their successful effort to eject the combative David TC Davies from Monmouthshire and – on changed boundaries – succeeded by around 3,000 votes.

It would have taken a miracle for Simon Hart, who accepted the most difficult of the four challenges by standing in Carmarthenshire, to return to the Commons. The miracle didn’t come. Reform took 8,000 votes from Labour and the Conservatives, and Simon Hart’s frontline political career is almost certainly over.

The seat held by another former Conservative Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones, was divided between three new constituencies, each of which returned a Labour representative.

The Liberal Democrat vote bombed across most of Wales. However, the Party regained the redrawn Brecon & Radnor seat from the Conservatives. The margin of victory, fewer than 1500 votes, was well within the number of votes Reform gained in the new constituency.
In Montgomeryshire, the MP at the centre of a betting scandal, Craig Williams, deservedly lost his seat, being beaten into third place behind Labour’s Stephen Witherden and Reform UK’s Oliver Lewis. Mr Williams now finds himself free to spend as much time at William Hill’s as he likes.

The Welsh picture overall looks superficially good for Labour, at least in terms of seats won. However, turnout was 56.6% across the whole country, and Labour’s share of the vote fell.

The vote shares for what we must now consider Wales’s five principal parties are revealing.

Labour got 37% of the vote in Wales, Plaid around 15%, the Conservatives around 18%, Reform 17%, and the Liberal Democrats 6.5%.
However, in polling for a Senedd election in 2026, a poll conducted for Barn Cymru, Labour’s vote share is 27%, with the Conservatives comfortably outpolling their Westminster result, and Plaid’s vote share solidly increased.

First Minister Vaughan Gething has claimed Wales will have a “true partner” in Keir Starmer.

In a post published to X, he said: “After fourteen long years, today we begin a new chapter for Wales.

“Your Labour Government will have a true partner in Keir Starmer as we build the fairer, greener future Wales deserves.
“Two Labour governments working together for a stronger Wales in a fairer Britain. Change begins here.”

However, working together will mean Labour in Wales abandoning some key policy pledges. UK Labour will not return full control of structural funds to Cardiff Bay. Even overnight, Labour MPs fought shy of any suggestion the Welsh Government would get full autonomy over it, as it enjoyed pre-2017.

The Welsh Government’s loud and persistent calls for a share of HS2 funding have also gone out of the window, even at the dramatically reduced £350m (down from almost £4bn) it now claims would be due to Cardiff Bay. The long-hoped-for sweetie of more funding for public services in Wales – specifically for Education spending and Health – will likely be far less than Labour in Wales hoped and will probably not all go into those spending pots.

The Barnett Formula, which decides how much Wales gets as a percentage of what is spent in England, will be “reviewed”. However, a change to a formula based on need – if a change takes place – is years away.

Despite their Welsh wipeout, the Conservatives now have a rare opportunity to take a long look at how they organise and campaign in Wales. Like “Welsh Labour”, the “Welsh Conservatives” are little more than a branch office for Westminster.

If the Conservatives find an authentic Welsh voice, as opposed to merely parroting the attack lines from Conservative Central OfficeHQ, they could regain ground as Labour in Wales struggles with Vaughan Gething’s electorally poisonous reputation and dissatisfaction with a quarter of a century of devolution. If they don’t, Plaid and Reform will benefit.

Reform must now try to organise and professionalise itself for the next Senedd elections. It can’t afford the omnishambles that engulfed its predecessor party between 2016 and 2021 or sit back and expect voters to flock to it.

As an almost explicitly English National Party, Reform must also consider how it will build an offer to appeal to Welsh voters on issues within the Welsh Government’s control.

Meanwhile, Plaid must consider both how to extend its reach in Labour-voting areas and consolidate its position in places where it is already strong. Rhun ap Iorwerth comes out of the campaign with considerable public credit in the bank. It is vitally important to Plaid that they build on his appeal and ability to communicate with voters in a way recent Plaid leaders have not.

For Mr ap Iorwerth, the main challenge is likely to come from within his own Party’s NEC, which is more focused on internal squabbles on single issues than fighting elections on a broad platform.

Crime

Police confirm arrests following violent disorder in Pembroke Dock

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POLICE in Pembrokeshire have made a statement following the incident on Saturday in which a man on a hoodie was seen wielding a samurai sword in Pembroke Street, Pembroke Dock whilst others engaged in a punch up. 

The police have now confirmed that four people were arrested following events, three men and one woman.  

On Monday a spokesperson said: “Dyfed Powys police responded to a report of disorder and an individual with a weapon, on Pembroke Street, Pembroke Dock at approx. 4:50pm, Saturday June 15.

“Emergency services were dispatched immediately and arrived at scene shortly after.

Four people were arrested; 3 males aged 51, 47, 46 and one female, 37 and have since been released on bail, pending further police enquiries.

We are not looking for anyone else in relation to this incident.

Superintendent for Pembrokeshire, Craig Templeton of Pembrokeshire said.

“We understand this has caused concern amongst residents in the area.

We would like to thank members of the public for their patience and support during this incident.

You will likely see a greater police presence in the area and our local officers will be available should you have any concerns and wish to speak with someone”.

If you have any information that may assist officers in their investigation, please contact us either online via https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline[email protected]

Direct message us on social media or call 101

Quoting Ref: 252 of the 15th.

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Wanted: Steven Kimpriktzis in connection with drug trafficking operation

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE have said they are urgently seeking information leading to the arrest of Steven Kostas Kimpriktzis, aged between 45 and 50, in relation to a significant drug trafficking operation.

Kimpriktzis, an alleged central figure in an Organised Crime Group (OCG), is accused of conspiring to supply Class A controlled substances across Liverpool, Dorset, and Pembrokeshire between May 2021 and March 2022.

The police allege Kimpriktzis’s direct involvement in the orchestration of drug movements that have significantly impacted the regions involved. Standing at approximately 175 to 180 cm (5′ 10″) with a medium build and described as White European in ethnicity, Kimpriktzis has known connections in both Liverpool and Reading and has been spotted in Greece recently.

The Dyfed-Powys Police force is leading the charge in this cross-regional investigation, emphasising the severity of the charges against Kimpriktzis. As part of a larger OCG, his activities have drawn considerable concern, prompting a nationwide alert for his apprehension.

Authorities are appealing to the public for any information regarding Kimpriktzis’s whereabouts or activities. Confidential tips can be relayed anonymously by contacting 0800 555 111. The police stress the importance of community assistance in curtailing the operations of such organised crime groups, which pose significant risks to public safety and wellbeing.

In the ongoing battle against drug trafficking within the UK, the capture of individuals such as Steven Kostas Kimpriktzis represents a critical step in dismantling networks that fuel illegal drug distribution and associated criminal activities. The Dyfed-Powys Police remain dedicated to this cause, urging anyone with knowledge that could lead to Kimpriktzis’s arrest to come forward.

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‘SPARC’ Powering progress for females – launches on International Women’s Day

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ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, Pembrokeshire College proudly hosted the highly anticipated launch event of the Sustainable Power, Renewables, and Construction (SPARC) Alliance. This occasion celebrated women and effective collaboration between industry, notably the Alliance members: Blue Gem Wind, Floventis Energy, Ledwood Engineering, Port of Milford Haven and RWE Renewables, local secondary schools, and Pembrokeshire College.

The collective aim of SPARC is to promote gender diversity in these underrepresented industries. Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Fay Jones, delivered an empowering address, emphasising the importance of initiatives like SPARC in promoting gender diversity. Wales Office Minister Fay Jones said: “I was delighted to come to Pembrokeshire College on International Women’s Day to celebrate the excellent work that’s been achieved by all the partners in promoting opportunities for young women. Encouraging women into professions like engineering and construction is vital to ensure they have the chance of achieving fantastic well-paid careers in their local area.

It’s great to see the UK Government’s investment in the Swansea Bay City Deal being used for such a brilliant scheme.” The event that was opened by Dr Barry Walters, Principal of Pembrokeshire College, reminding the audience of the current gender gap in the featured sectors and the role we all should play encouraging females into non-traditional roles.

Keynote speaker and trailblazer Jessica Leigh Jones MBE, captivated the audience with her insights into the pivotal role of women in driving innovation and progress in the green economy. A highlight of the event was the SPARC Alliance panel discussion Chaired by the former Minister for the Environment, Sustainability and Housing, Jane Davidson. The highlight was the female ‘Careers’ panel, five female professionals took time out of their busy schedules to inspire the next generation of engineers by answering questions from learners.

The SPARC Alliance investment and the additional funding from the Swansea City Deal, will support school teachers to deliver SPARC engagement activities. Awareness raising, building confidence and interacting with industry will add to unlocking female potential in these underrepresented industries. “Pembrokeshire College and Pembrokeshire County Council extend their gratitude to all partners whose unwavering collaboration and support have brought this transformative initiative to fruition, breaking barriers and building a future filled with opportunities for future generations.” SPARC Lead, Hayley Williams.

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