If Party Is Not United Jobs and UK Security - Werisk the Economy, - Welsh Tory Leader; Political Editor David Williamson Reports on Andrew RT Davies' Plea for the Conservatives to Show Unity for the Sake of the 'National Interest'

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), October 2, 2017 | Go to article overview

If Party Is Not United Jobs and UK Security - Werisk the Economy, - Welsh Tory Leader; Political Editor David Williamson Reports on Andrew RT Davies' Plea for the Conservatives to Show Unity for the Sake of the 'National Interest'


WELSH Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies issued a plea for unity as the party's conference kicked off in Manchester, with the Prime Minister already facing questions about her future. Mr Davies sought to use the spectre of Jeremy Corbyn winning the keys of Downing St to get people to put aside "personal agendas".

Pundits and bookmakers had predicted the Conservatives would make major gains in Wales when the election was announced but the party ended up losing three seats to Labour.

Mr Davies argued that Welsh Tories must "speak outside our traditional voter base" and reach younger voters.

Warning that Tory disunity threatened the UK's national security, he said: "The stakes are high and it is incumbent on all of us in the Conservative party to unite, put personal agendas aside and fight for the greater good.

"The challenge upon us is immense and we must work united behind our Prime Minister as she leads us on this historic journey.

"Because if we don't, we risk everything: the economy; jobs; public services; the Brexit negotiations; our national security; and the frightening prospect of Jeremy Corbyn in 10 Downing Street...

"Our country needs a united Conservative Party governing in the national interest."

The Labour party conference ended on a high last Wednesday, with Jeremy Corbyn now more secure at Labour's helm than at any time in his leadership.

Mr Davies launched a full-throttle attack on Mr Corbyn and stressed the need to win over young voters.

He said: "To defeat the unforgiving socialism of the Labour party, we need to show that Corbyn is nothing more than a seductive and destructive lie. And we need young people on our side.

"And that begins by speaking to them - speaking to their needs. If we don't, then false prophets and their falsehoods will flourish.

"At a time when Labour are happy to shamelessly swindle our young people with promises that can't be kept, and [which they] have no intention of keeping we need to persuade young people that fairness and aspiration matter more than quick fixes and expensive gimmicks, to say how the Welsh Conservatives would use the new tax-raising powers in Wales in a way which uniquely benefits young people.

"How we'll put extra money in their pocket so that they can raise deposits for their own home and scrap stamp-duty for first-time buyers so they can get on the ladder. How we'll ensure that all public sector staff in Wales under the age of 25 are paid the living wage and make Wales a country that works for young and old."

Adamant that Mr Corbyn is a threat to the "future of our nation", he said: "[As] we've seen with Labour's social media activity: a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on... Jeremy Corbyn is a real threat not just to this government, but to public services, the economy and the very future of our nation.

"And we need to take that threat seriously, because in Wales we've seen first-hand what a Labour Government can do to our people and communities."

The South Wales Central AM also used his conference appearance to press for action on the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon.

The long-awaited and independent Hendry Review gave the project the thumbs-up in January but no announcement about UK Government backing has been made. …

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