Wales politics

Alun Cairns criticises 2026 Commonwealth Games decision

Athletics at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Athletics at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games

Wales should have bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games to show it was "open to the world", Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns has said.

He said it would have led to extra spending on infrastructure like roads.

The Welsh Government ditched the idea last month blaming the high cost and funding uncertainty after the Brexit vote.

Mr Cairns told Wales at Work radio programme that the country had to be outward looking following the vote.

The Welsh government accused Mr Cairns of "kidding people".

Liverpool bid

Mr Cairns also said there needs to be a focus on the M4 relief road as firms were telling him the current situation was causing "reputational damage".

A planning inquiry will be held in November into a £1.1bn six-lane motorway south of Newport to relieve congestion around the Brynglas tunnels.

"If there was ever a time when Wales could demonstrate how it was looking outwards, it would have been bidding for the Commonwealth Games," he said.

Liverpool is planning a bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

The UK's nomination for a host city will be decided in 2018.

A spokesperson for Economy Secretary Ken Skates, who pulled the plug on a bid, said: "Alun Cairns is kidding people with these remarks.

"He talks about unlocking infrastructure investment and yet we've seen no progress on rail electrification - that is the responsibility of his government in Westminster.

"The Secretary of State needs to check his job description - he should be banging the drum for Wales at the cabinet table, rather than taking lazy pot-shots at the Welsh Government when we make difficult but responsible decisions."

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