October 01, 2023

The Rt Hon David TC Davies MP, Secretary of State for Wales addressed CPC23

Wales Secretary David TC Davies addressed Conservative Party Conference 2023 in Manchester.

Here is what he said:

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s always a pleasure to be introduced by Andrew RT Davies, who as you say see, is so energetically holding the Labour government to account in Wales.
We’re also joined today by our many wonderful Senedd members; our Welsh Members of Parliament; of course our councillors, my predecessor Peter Fox who is now the Senedd member for Monmouth; all of our activists and many others from Wales.
It’s always a mistake, actually, to single anyone out as I just did, but I did want to pay a quick tribute to one of my predecessors, Simon Hart, who did a fantastic job as Secretary of State for Wales and is now serving as our Chief Whip and doing a very good job of that as well.
I do mean that by the way, but it is always a good idea to say good things about the Chief Whip at all times in my job.
How wonderful it is to be in Manchester and to already feel the enthusiasm and energy to get out onto the doorsteps and win the next election.
And here in Wales we have a special role to play in winning that historic fifth term.
Because in Wales we have suffered for over two decades with an incompetent Labour government – which, as Andrew has just pointed out,  Sir Keir Starmer sees as his “blueprint” that he will roll out across the rest of the United Kingdom.
 Let me remind you again, ladies and gentlemen, of some of the failures that we’ve had to endure in Wales.
We’ve had over twenty years of failure to deliver high standards in the National Health Service, where 27,000 people are stuck on a Welsh NHS waiting list for over two years.
According to Keir Starmer, this is a blueprint that he will roll out for the health service for the rest of the United Kingdom.
We’ve had over 20 years of failure in schools which has led Welsh pupils received lowest scores in the UK for reading, writing and maths.
Once again, Labour see this as a blueprint for what they would do in the rest of the United Kingdom.
And just as we have seen in London, so we see in Wales: Labour is failing drivers and is continuing to wage a war against motorists.
As Andrew reminded us, we have been hit with draconian 20mph speed limits –costing £33 million just to put the signs in place, but it’s going to cost many billions of pounds in the hit to our economy. Half a million people  have signed a petition against the move, more than actually voted for Labour at the last Senedd election in Wales; but they bury their heads in the sand and ignore the mounting criticism.
Did you know, ladies and gentlemen, Labour ministers also have chummy meetings with Extinction Rebellion, can it be a surprise to any of us that they have decided to cancel all road building projects.
That’s right – no new roads will ever be built in Wales.
So we sit there in ever-increasing traffic jams, breathing in fumes and Labour ministers – who do like to fly around the world a bit, by the way - say this will combat climate change.
Frankly, it feels to me like our Welsh Labour government will not be happy unless we are moving around Wales by horse and cart.
But instead of taking action to make sure that children are educated,  that patients are treated, that commuters can drive to work, what do we get?
We got plans from Welsh Labour on a ridiculous nanny state ban on meal deals as we know them.
We also have a Labour-run Welsh government which has set out proposals to spend over £100 million, creating dozens with extra politicians in the Senedd – and within 7 days of announcing this, telling the NHS to cut services!
And it gets worse, Conference:
While our government has a plan and is fighting in the courts to ensure that we can remove illegal asylum seekers to a safe third country.
Labour’s proposal to hand out nearly £1600 a month to many young asylum seekers in Wales and then on top of that to demand that they be exempt from having to contribute to legal bills.
It’s all part of Labour’s blueprint for the United Kingdom.
 We say to ease mounting congestion, we need to see the construction of an M4 relief road, and we need upgrades to north Wales roads, including the A55.
We call on Labour to reverse its absurd 20mph blanket speed limit on Welsh roads – which its own analysis has warned will hit the Welsh economy by more than £4 billion.
It’s absolutely vital that confidence in Welsh health boards is restored, which is why we call on the Labour Welsh government to launch an independent inquiry to uncover the many drastic failures into the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.
And with 27,000 people currently stuck on a waiting list for more than 2 years, Labour needs to focus more of their resources on tackling this backlog.
Before anyone says to you, ladies and gentlemen, that perhaps they say ‘they have no money’ to deliver these aims, let me remind them:
They are currently receiving the largest funding settlement from the UK government in the history of devolution, thanks to Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak.
We are providing a record £18 billion per year settlement, which is still increasing in real terms over the spending review period.
The people of Wales desperately need labour to put an end to its political posturing and finally act in our nation’s national interests.
We must hold Labour to account for what they have been doing in Wales and make sure it does not happen to the rest of the United Kingdom.
We must contrast Labour’s appalling record of failure with delivery by our Conservative government.
This was a government which was elected to sort out Brexit and we have delivered.
This was a government that brought the UK through the worst health crisis for a century by rolling out the fastest vaccine in the world.
Our Prime Minister, as chancellor,  who ensured the fastest and most generous furlough scheme in the world– more than 100,000 jobs were saved in Wales alone.
Our government has stood up for democracy in Ukraine - so much so that the Ukrainian president has publicly thanked the Prime Minister and his government for the United Kingdom’s leadership.
And while Labour have been failing Wales, the Conservative Party have been delivering.
Under Rishi Sunak, Wales has so far received more than £200 million as part of our ambitious levelling up agenda;
Wales received – not one – but two freeports which will generate thousands of local jobs for local people; 
And only yesterday today the Prime Minister announced that 4 places—in Wrexham, Barry, Merthyr Tydfil and Cwmbran—that labour have forgotten will receive £20 million over 10 years to invest in local people’s priorities.
We’ve also recruited thousands of extra police officers to keep Welsh streets safe.
And our bold plans for Wales do not stop there.
Just this month, along with Kemi Badenoch, I was able to announce half a billion pounds to secure the future of British Steel in Port Talbot.
It’s a plan, ladies and gentlemen, that has saved thousands of jobs, and means that steel will continue to be made in South Wales.
This government has ensured that Welsh people’s priorities are our priorities.
And ladies and gentlemen, when the election comes, we will be saying there is a simple choice to make:
We need to get out on the doorsteps and remind people what that choice is.
Wasting time banning meal deals, waging a war against motorists and will sit back and do nothing to tackle illegal immigration.
It’s a choice between a Labour Party, already in power in Wales, that would give us more taxes, fewer inflation rules, failing public services and a war on motorists.
Or the choice of a Conservative government, which will continue to deliver lower inflation, a growing economy, better public services and stopping small boats.
And on every doorstep, in every conversation, at every opportunity; let us make it clear that we understand that these are the real priorities, that we will deliver on them; and with Rishi Sunak in charge, we will win that historic fifth term in office.