Clwyd West MP David Jones appointed Welsh Secretary
Clwyd West MP David Jones was appointed Secretary of State for Wales today as the line-up of David Cameron's reshuffled Cabinet began to take shape.
Cheryl Gillan indicated her departure from the role via Twitter this morning.
Mrs Gillan, MP for Chesham and Amersham, returns to the back benches after two years in the post.
Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales said today: “I would like to thank Cheryl Gillan for her work over the last two years.
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"I now look forward to meeting her replacement - the former Assembly Member, David Jones - as soon as possible, so a new relationship and dynamic can be established to address the serious work before us.
“The time has now come for a Secretary of State for Wales to deliver on the so-called 'respect agenda' promised by the Prime Minister back in May 2010.
“As far as the Welsh Government is concerned, I want to make clear that we are not in a contest with the UK Government - we never have been.
"We are in the serious business of delivering for the people of Wales during these extremely difficult economic times. Nothing should deflect either Government from this important task.
“To enable this to happen, we need a Wales Office and a Secretary of State that shares our aspiration and is prepared to 'bang the drum' for Wales around the Cabinet table. We hope that this will happen.”
However, Plaid Cymru’s leader Leanne Wood sounded more sceptical.
She said: “I remain to be convinced there will be any change in Wales’ influence at the Cabinet table.
“Wales is being hit hard by the economic crisis and the deep public spending cuts.
“People can see that the same old measures are not working and are calling out for radical solutions.
“For Wales to get through this, capital investment is needed as a matter of urgency.”
Yesterday, Monmouth MP David Davies said it would be "difficult" for his party if another MP from an English constituency was appointed as Ms Gillan's successor. He said fellow Welsh Tories Stephen Crabb, Preseli Pembrokeshire MP, and Clwyd West MP David Jones deserved a promotion if Mrs Gillan was replaced.
Mr Davies, who is the chairman of the Commons' Welsh Affairs Committee, said: "There's plenty of experience there and I think it would be politically very difficult for us on the doorstep to explain why it is that with eight member of parliament who have served — let's not go through all the list - but spent years and years in Welsh politics why none of them could be the secretary of state for Wales."
Mr Jones, was elected as an MP in May 2005, and appointed Shadow Deputy Secretary of State for Wales in November 2006. The 60-year-old has been Mrs Gillan’s number two in the Wales Office for the past two years.
He was re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Clwyd West in May 2010, and was appointed as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State shortly after his re-election.