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Secretary of State for Wales

The post of Secretary of State for Wales came into existence in 1964, the first incumbent being Jim Griffiths, MP for Llanelli[?]. The position entailed responsibility for the Welsh Office[?] and expenditure on certain public services was delegated from Westminster.

During the 1980s and 1990s, as the number of Conservative MPs for Welsh constituencies dwindled almost to nothing, the office fell into disrepute. Nicholas Edwards[?], MP for Pembrokeshire, held the post for some years, but was constantly mocked for his upper-class appearance and accent. On his departure, the government ceased to look within Wales for the Secretary of State, and the post was increasingly used as a way of getting junior high-fliers into the Cabinet. The most unpopular of these was John Redwood.

The introduction of the Welsh Assembly and its Cabinet[?] following the devolution referendum of 1997 was the beginning of a new era, and the Welsh Office was disbanded, the function of the new assembly being to spend the budget allocated to Welsh affairs. However, the post of Secretary of State for Wales continued to exist, more as a means of representing the government view on Wales in the British House of Commons than for any other purpose.



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