Welsh Secretary warns of Labour revival

Wales should not be the breeding ground for a Labour party revival, the Welsh Secretary told the Conservative conference in Birmingham.

Cheryl Gillan called on members to work towards toppling the Labour government in Wales as they had at Westminster.

She said they "cannot afford to let Wales continue as a Labour fiefdom".

In his speech, Welsh party leader in the asembly Nick Bourne said Cuba was making more reforms than the "old Labour, old politics" in Cardiff.

Senior party figures have talked of reviving the idea of a rainbow coalition after the assembly elections.

Ms Gillan called on the party in Wales to build on the success of the general election, and not to see it as the high water mark of their success.

Ms Gillan told delegates: "We simply cannot afford to let Wales continue as a Labour fiefdom - a fiefdom of the party that brought us the deepest recession for generations, which created economic turmoil and landed our country with crippling debt."

"Labour shouldn't be given a chance to regroup and rebuild, using Wales as its platform."

Building on the conference theme of "working in the national interest", Ms Gillan called for a new cooperation between the two governments in Wales and Westminster.

She said Cardiff and London must work together for the national interest and bring an end to the fractious relationship of the past, putting people first rather than party politics.

Her speech also focused on the need to build the Welsh economy through enterprise in the private sector.

Highlighting golf's Ryder Cup as a good example of how to promote Wales as a brand, the Welsh Secretary called on more people to emulate the entrepreneurial success of Sir Terry Mathews, the owner of the Celtic Manor.

'Secrecy and censorship'

Nick Bourne said there was no "change of heart" from Labour at the Welsh assembly as had been seen by the Castro-run government in Cuba.

He said: "At Westminster we may have got rid of a tired old Labour government - in Wales, we're still stuck with them.

"And so whilst Conservative ministers in Westminster are opening up government spending to scrutiny like never before, Labour ministers in Wales continue to preside over a culture of secrecy and censorship - shutting out the public with deals behind closed doors."

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