Orders of the Day — Referendums (Scotland and Wales) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:42 pm on 22nd May 1997.

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Photo of Mr Ron Davies Mr Ron Davies Secretary of State, Welsh Office 6:42 pm, 22nd May 1997

Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker. If we have less useless time wasting, I shall have more time to answer those questions.

The policies of grant-maintained schools and nursery vouchers were designed to meet ideological party needs in London, not practical educational needs in Wales. On a range of domestic policy—but especially on education, health, the environment and economic development—Conservative ideology and party interests have prevailed over Welsh interests and Welsh values. I know that my Scottish colleagues feel strongly about the subordination of Scottish interests and values to Conservative dogma.

Last night, the shadow Secretary of State for Wales admitted that the Conservative party had lost the faith, the confidence and the good will of the electorate. I suppose that that is a small step in the right direction but, given the events of 1 May, it is not a startling proposition. He went on to say that his party was tainted with sleaze, greed, self-indulgence and division. The former Secretary of State for Wales should know. If ever there was sleaze, greed and self-indulgence—[Interruption.]