Wales politics

Labour pulling up ladder on working people, says Davies

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Media captionAndrew RT Davies avoided repeating his Brexit/breakfast mix-up as he opened his party's spring conference

Plans to scrap the right to buy council homes in Wales will end "one of the greatest aspirational policies", Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies has told the party's spring conference.

He accused Labour ministers, "hand-in-hand with nationalists", of "pulling up the ladder on hard working people".

A bill to abolish the Thatcher-era policy was published on Monday.

Later at the event, Prime Minister Theresa May set out her desire to create a "more united" Britain.

If follows Nicola Sturgeon's demand for a second independence referendum for Scotland.

Mr Davies told fellow party members on Friday that the right-to-buy policy had "allowed generations of people to get on in life and buy their own home".

"You only have to look at Wales if you want to see the devastating impact of policies wanted by the likes of Jeremy Corbyn can have on hardworking people," he said.

"A Labour Party, hand in hand with the nationalists, pulling up the ladder on people who just want to get on in life and support their family."

The Welsh Conservative leader used the conference to send a message to nationalists who want "to tear the union apart".

He said Brexit was a "significant opportunity to create a fairer Wales and a better Britain".

"The United Kingdom that we cherish is not a thing of the past," he said.

"It remains - as ever - the world's greatest family of nations

"Nicola Sturgeon, take note: This great union is here to stay."

'Power without responsibility'

He also attacked Labour's handling of public services in Wales.

But his speech made no mention of last year's assembly election result, when the Tories lost three seats, coming third behind Labour and Plaid Cymru.

Criticising the deal between Plaid and Labour in the assembly which allowed Carwyn Jones to be re-nominated as first minister, Mr Davies said it was time for "Labour's crutches to be taken away".

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood had chosen "power without responsibility", he said.

Mr Davies began his speech with a nod to his last appearance at a Tory conference when he confused Brexit with breakfast: "the meal which made me go viral for all the wrong reasons".

Image caption Half of Wales' population and 10% of England's live within 25 miles of the border, Alun Cairns said

Continuing the attacks on Plaid and the SNP, Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns accused nationalist politicians of "constructing barriers where they simply don't exist".

"But the case for the union is not only emotional; it's logical, sensible, and practical," he said.

"Put simply, we achieve more together. This isn't political rhetoric, it's common sense."

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