Tory campaign focuses on Labour Welsh government

The Welsh Labour government’s performance shows the party cannot be trusted to run the UK, the Conservatives have warned. Welsh Tory Senedd leader Andrew RT Davies said record NHS waiting lists, high business rates and “a war on motorists” in Wales were a “stark warning”.

The Conservatives launched their Welsh general election campaign on Friday in Monmouthshire. Speaking ahead of the event, Welsh Secretary David TC Davies said that only his party has a “bold plan to secure Wales’ future.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has previously held up the Labour-run Welsh government as a “blueprint” for a future UK government led by him.

At the last general election, in 2019, the Conservatives took five seats from Labour in north Wales as well as Bridgend in the south, when Boris Johnson’s “Get Brexit Done” campaign took on Sir Keir’s predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn.

This time, with Labour enjoying a large and long-established poll lead, the Tories are clearly on the defensive.
But they believe the record of Welsh Labour ministers is a potent election weapon. Andrew RT Davies said: “Labour’s record of 25 years of running Wales is a stark warning to the rest of the UK of what a Labour government in Westminster would mean for them.

“Keir Starmer says Wales is his ‘blueprint’ for what a UK Labour government would look like, and thanks to Labour, Wales has record high NHS waiting lists, the highest business rates in Britain, an ideological and damaging war on motorists and proposals that would risk 5,500 farming jobs. Welsh Conservatives have been highly critical of the 20mph default speed limit introduced in built-up areas and the higher bar set for new road schemes to be approved by Welsh ministers. In April the amount of business rate relief fell from 75% to 40% for retail and hospitality firms in Wales, while similar businesses in England continue to get 75% relief.

The Welsh Secretary David TC Davies struck a more positive tone, arguing that the Conservatives would “get Wales moving by delivering faster train journeys in north Wales”, referring to plans announced in 2023 to electrify the north Wales mainline. He said Wales’ energy security would be improved by the news that Wylfa, on Anglesey, has been chosen as the preferred site for a large-scale nuclear power plant, news announced on the day Rishi Sunak called the general election.

Young people, said the Conservative cabinet minister, would get the “best start in life”, with the plan the party launched over the weekend to get 18-year-olds to take part in some form of national service.
He added “far too many” young people going to university at the moment “and getting nothing out of it”.
He said people were getting degrees which “are not even enabling them” to pay back their tuition fees and it was time to “call this out”.

More young people taking up apprenticeships with businesses was the way forward, he said. If the Conservatives win the next UK election they have promised to scrap some university courses in England to fund 100,000 apprenticeships, saying some are a “rip-off” and provide poor job prospects. The Labour-run Welsh government decides university policy in Wales.

Source: BBC

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