Election 2015 Wales

David Cameron denies waging 'war on Wales'

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Media captionThe prime minister says he is committed to giving more power to Wales

David Cameron has denied waging a "war on Wales", saying he wants to deliver more devolution.

Speaking to BBC Wales, he admitted there were disagreements with the Labour First Minister Carwyn Jones, who he accused of cutting the NHS in Wales.

The prime minister said a bill offering more powers for Wales would be included in the Queen's Speech.

He also promised "fair funding" with the "expectation" that Wales would then hold a referendum on income tax powers.

Mr Cameron said it was right that the Welsh government should take responsibility for some of its funding.

'Left out'

The prime minister said it was important the whole of Wales benefited from what he described as the country's "economic recovery".

"I'm very keen that we remember all of Wales - I think sometimes that north Wales can feel left out of the assembly's deliberations", he said.

Mr Cameron added that while Cardiff stood to benefit from major investment in a so-called "city deal", towns such as Rhyl should be higher up the agenda.

He also ruled out regional pay for public sector workers, saying it was "off the agenda".

Responding to comments on the health service, the Welsh government insisted that it was increasing spending on the NHS - and would be at its highest level ever in 2015-16 at £6.7bn.

"The UK government has cut our budget by £1.4bn. Despite these cuts, we have taken action to protect health, investing additional funding in the NHS," said a spokesperson.

Image caption David Cameron visits a brewery in Gower, one of the seats the Tories took from Labour

Earlier on Thursday, while visiting Gower, Mr Cameron said the Tories had a "sense of momentum" after their victory in the general election, and were now looking to the 2016 assembly poll.

The Conservatives achieved their best general election result for 30 years, winning 11 out of the 40 Welsh seats.

The prime minister thanked voters who supported his party despite the difficult decisions it had taken in government.

He said Byron Davies's victory in capturing Gower for the Tories was an "enormous achievement", unseating Labour, which had held the seat for more than a century.

Image caption Stephen Crabb and Carwyn Jones discuss how their two governments can work together for Wales

Mr Cameron was accompanied in Gower by Stephen Crabb, who was re-appointed Welsh Secretary on Monday.

Earlier on Thursday Mr Crabb met Carwyn Jones in Cardiff to discuss how the UK and Welsh governments could work together to attract investment and support business in Wales.

However, Mr Crabb said legislation on further devolution would not be passed in time to allow 16-year-olds to vote in the 2016 assembly election.

Analysis by Nick Servini, BBC Wales political editor

This was an interview which I suspect will provide reassurance for those who did - and those who did not - vote for David Cameron's party in the election.

He clearly is not going to let up on criticism of the Welsh NHS, which is not surprising as many in the party believe it helped them get their hands on a number of seats in Wales, and will be central in their assembly election campaign.

The prime minister also did not give an inch on public sector cuts when I asked him whether he believed any services would have to disappear.

There is a view from some on the right that non-essential services will have to be carried out by volunteers or community groups in future.

David Cameron's answer, pointing to efficiencies by the police, suggests he believes there is plenty more scope for savings.

On further devolution, he kept up his opposition to a constitutional convention, long called for by Carwyn Jones, describing it as an "enormous talking shop with every faddish idea under the sun".

And when it came to future projects, he mentioned Cardiff, which was predictable, and Rhyl, which no doubt had something to do with James Davies winning Vale of Clwyd.

So plenty for Mr Cameron's supporters and opponents to go on as the dust settles on the Tory triumph a week ago and thoughts move to the next five years.

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