Wales Office blunder gives Heseltine old job back
An MP has described it as the fastest comeback in political history. Lord Heseltine, who was recently sacked as a government adviser - is back working as a government adviser. Well, according to the secretary of state for Wales he is.
Alun Cairns wrote to MPs on March 14 to say he was "delighted" that the Swansea-born former deputy prime minister would use his "expertise" to support a £1.3bn investment deal for Swansea and south-west Wales.
Lord Heseltine lost his (unpaid) post advising on the Swansea Bay Region City Deal a week earlier when he voted against the government on triggering Brexit in the House of Lords.
But in a letter sent to Welsh MPs, Mr Cairns said he was "delighted" that Lord Heseltine's expertise would support what he said was "a once in a lifetime opportunity" to transform the local area.
He wrote: "We have a good plan for the region, but we now need to work together to make it a great plan. I'm therefore delighted that Lord Heseltine has offered to support the final stages of the deal.
"I am of course conscious of the timescales involved and I am keen that we conclude this deal as soon as possible. I am confident that with a small amount of work, and the expertise of Lord Heseltine, we will soon be in a position to make an agreement on the deal."
Labour MP Ian Lucas said it was "the fastest comeback in political history". But it appears talk of a comeback may be premature. The Wales Office admits the letter was sent in error. Mr Cairns is sending an updated version to MPs.