Tories promise 'shared prosperity fund' after Brexit

Theresa May
Image caption Theresa May launches the Conservatives' UK manifesto in Halifax.

To the prime minister, it is "my manifesto" and Theresa May's programme for government certainly looks and feels rather different from the one David Cameron stood on two years ago (which featured Mrs May on the cover).

In comparison, it is long on her vision of "a great meritocracy" and short on specific policies that could become hostages to fortune in government.

So the promise not to raise income tax or national insurance contributions has gone, along with (after 2020) the triple lock on pensions. The winter fuel allowance will be means-tested with the money spent on health and social care in England (and the Welsh Government) given a share of the cash. There are big changes proposed to social care in England.

The new approach means the Swansea tidal lagoon that featured in the 2015 document does not appear by name here. There is a commitment to modernise the railways but not specifically to electrify the Great Western route all the way to Swansea.

'Tolls'

The promise to scrap Severn Bridge tolls, announced earlier this week, does not feature. So just because something's not in the manifesto doesn't mean the Conservatives don't plan to do it.

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Policy pledge fails to build bridges between parties

Severn toll booths

You wait years for a manifesto pledge on Severn Bridge tolls and then two come along at once.

No sooner had Labour's UK manifesto arrived, with a pledge to work with the Welsh Government to scrap the tolls, than the Conservatives made a similar pledge.

Read full article Policy pledge fails to build bridges between parties

Policies have 'direct bearing' on Wales, says candidate

Carwyn Jones and Christina Rees
Image caption Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones and Shadow Welsh Secretary Christina Rees arrive for the meeting to agree Labour's manifesto.

Move along now. Nothing to see here. Jeremy who....?

I paraphrase the Welsh Labour reaction to the leak of a draft of the party's UK manifesto. "Reports of leaked manifestos relate to an old, draft version of a UK document," said a spokesperson.

Read full article Policies have 'direct bearing' on Wales, says candidate

For Wales, don't see 'England and Wales'

Theresa May Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Theresa May surrounded by supporters during a campaign visit to Bridgend

It was a clear election promise. Theresa May said her party was determined to tackle a situation where more than half of mental health problems start below the age of 14.

"So the Conservatives will ensure," said the prime minister, "every primary and secondary school in England and Wales has staff trained in mental health first aid and a single point of contact with local mental health services.

Read full article For Wales, don't see 'England and Wales'

Welsh questions, Brexit and 'pre-election tension'

Paul Flynn MP
Image caption 'You and I are familiar with the syndrome of pre-election tension that afflicts this place' - Paul Flynn MP.

It was a final chance for MPs to rehearse their campaign slogans.

Never knowingly off message, Alun Cairns threw a couple of random references to "strong and stable leadership" during the first five minutes of Welsh questions, the last one before the general election.

Read full article Welsh questions, Brexit and 'pre-election tension'

Manifestos past and present: What to look out for

The Conservatives' Welsh manifesto Image copyright Conservative Party
Image caption Remember him? David Cameron at the heart of the Conservatives' Welsh manifesto in 2015.

One of the many treats of a snap election - only seven weeks to go, folks - is that I get the chance to re-read manifestos from two years ago. I do this so you don't have to.

The Brexit vote means that many of the pledges then - membership of the single market, anyone? - are no longer worth the paper they were written on.

Read full article Manifestos past and present: What to look out for

Wales goes to the polls. Again.

Byron Davies talking to David Cornock
Image caption 'No, not at all' - Byron Davies, who will defend the smallest majority in the UK.

Byron Davies has found himself in demand today. His phone has not stopped ringing or buzzing with texts.

As the owner of the smallest majority in the UK - 27 votes - the Gower MP could be forgiven if he viewed Theresa May's announcement with trepidation.

Read full article Wales goes to the polls. Again.

FMQs - from Gibraltar to the Church Village bypass

Neil Hamilton AM
Image caption UKIP Assembly group leader Neil Hamilton grills the first minister on Gibraltar.

For David Lloyd George, a change of trouble was as good as a vacation.

With that in mind, and MPs not sitting this week, I swapped Westminster for Cardiff Bay to take in First Minister's Questions.

Read full article FMQs - from Gibraltar to the Church Village bypass

Brexit powers pledge fails to pacify PM's Welsh critics

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns
Image caption 'I'm a bit disappointed in that' - Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns on criticism from First Minister Carwyn Jones

Theresa May's letter triggering Article 50 may have attempted a more conciliatory tone but it does not seem to have worked with the Welsh Government.

Although there is some common ground between the two governments on, for example, the need for free trade within the single market, Carwyn Jones has complained that he didn't see the letter before it was published on Wednesday. (He has that in common with most of Mrs May's cabinet).

Read full article Brexit powers pledge fails to pacify PM's Welsh critics

Wales awaits as May prepares to trigger Article 50

Carwyn Jones and Theresa May Image copyright Getty Images

In Wales we are fond of the H-word. It has often been used to describe something quite interesting that hasn't happened before rather than something genuinely historic.

But few would dispute that the letter Sir Tim Barrow will hand to Donald Tusk on Theresa May's behalf will not change the UK's history.

Read full article Wales awaits as May prepares to trigger Article 50