The Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns MP, has delivered his first St David’s Day greeting.
Alun was appointed Secretary of State for Wales on 19 March 2016. He was elected as Conservative MP for the Vale of Glamorgan in May 2010 (re-elected 2015).
He lives in his constituency with his wife Emma, who runs her own small business, and their son Henri. His father was a welder in British Steel and his mother was a shop-keeper.
He enjoys running and has completed 4 London Marathons in aid of local charities and was the fastest MP to complete the 26 mile course in 2015.
You can read his St David’s Day greeting in full below and don’t forget that tonight sees the inaugural meeting of the Kenya Welsh society.
Today, I am delighted to deliver my first St David’s Day greeting as Secretary of State for Wales and would like to send my warmest wishes to everyone celebrating our national day around the world.
This Government has Wales, and Welsh interests, very much at its heart. In 2016 we saw record employment in Wales, secured the Cardiff City Region Deal and wrote a new chapter in Welsh devolution as the Wales Bill received Royal Assent.
We’ve also seen huge votes of confidence in the Welsh economy with big Ministry of Defence contracts for North Wales – enhancing the Welsh economy, securing and increasing jobs and underlining Wales’ reputation as a world leader in the defence technology sector.
On the sporting stage, the fantastic achievements of our national football team at the Euro 2016 Championships and the medal winning exploits of the Welsh contingent at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio were all standout moments.
2017 will also be a great year for our capital city as Cardiff looks forward to hosting the Champions League final. Hosting this prestigious fixture is another opportunity for one of Europe’s most exciting capital cities to shine in front of an audience of millions, bringing with it an economic boost that reaches the whole of Wales.
Wales is home to fantastic businesses, worldwide exporters, high performing technology industries and outstanding academic institutes. I am looking forward to marking their achievements at a St David’s Day reception today in London, where many distinguished guests from Welsh business, heritage and culture will be in attendance.
I firmly believe that the key to Wales’ long term prosperity will be to take advantage of the opportunities presented by a growing global market. Next week the UK Government will host the inaugural Wales Business Export Summit where some of the country’s top exporters will be on hand to provide first-time Welsh exporters with the support and advice they need to seize global growth opportunities.
There are still important milestones to be reached over the year ahead. We can expect some challenges, but also many opportunities as we prepare to leave the European Union. We are working hard to pull together to make sure Wales is in the strongest possible position to benefit from Brexit, building an economy that works for everyone and creating a lasting devolution settlement to make a stronger United Kingdom.
Today we celebrate Wales, its history and its future. I would like to wish everybody a very Happy St David’s Day.