10 Days Remaining

Monday 21st
posted by Luke James in Britain

STEPHEN CRABB and Alun Cairns, promoted by the Prime Minister this weekend, both hail from Wales and know each other well.

But beyond their heritage, the pair have have one important thing in common: neither has ever rebelled.

Rocked by the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith, David Cameron’s top criteria for Cabinet replacements was a slavish loyalty to the Tory whip and if possible his own clique within the party.

Of this he can be confident. Neither man has displayed any significant independent political thought over their combined 16 years in the Commons and have both served as whips.

New Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb will use his background in a bid to justify cuts. He was brought up in poverty on a Pembrokeshire council estate by his single mother, who separated from his alcoholic father.

He says he knows what it’s like to choose between heating, eating or buying clothes.

He has described his own mother as a “welfare dependant,” insisting: “We can’t got soft on welfare reform in a place like Wales: it’s precisely the place that needs it.”

The belt tightening did not apply to Mr Crabb though.

He was ensnared in the expenses scandal after claiming £8,049 in taxpayer’s cash for the refurbishment of his second home in London and £500 for a goose down duvet and TV unit.

But all that is outdone by his replacement as Wales Secretary Alun Cairns, who claimed more expenses than any other Welsh MP last year.

Awkwardly, Mr Cairns was promoted on the weekend of the Wales v Italy Six Nations rugby clash.

The Vale of Glamorgan MP is perhaps best known for having branded Italians “greasy wops” in a radio interview.