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Wiggin: Winning again in Wales

"When I took on the role of Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, Wales had been labelled a 'Tory-free zone'.

The Secretary of State for Wales claimed it would remain so in the general election. Well, once again, we proved him wrong.

By getting the right people in the right places,

and working flat out, Welsh Conservatives have achieved more than some imagined possible.

So many people have helped make it possible for us to reach this point - and will make it possible for us to just keep going higher.

With the help of our leader in the Assembly, Nick Bourne, and our Assembly team who work determinedly and continuously, our director Matthew Lane, our ex-Chairman Carole Hyde and now Lyndon Jones who has filled her shoes so admirably… the Conservative party in Wales has pulled together, as a team of outstanding quality, to really deliver the goods.

Driving around Wales during the general election,

I saw real, determined and effective progress being made, even in the Labour heartlands,

by our candidates, activists and professionals.

And today, we have three excellent Welsh Conservative Members of Parliament as a testament to our hard work.

We came so close to becoming the second party in Wales - something which I am sure we will build on next time we get the chance.

And of course, we are also close to being the second party in the National Assembly for Wales.

This again I am sure we will change for the better, when the Assembly elections come around in 2007. Conservatives are more relevant than ever to Wales.

The people of Wales are beginning to realise that there is a real and viable alternative to Labour, who have taken them for granted for so long.

There is an alternative to the party led by Mr Blair, the man who supposedly swore about the Welsh when he heard of the election losses at the 1999 Assembly elections.

No doubt Mr Blair will have more of that coming his way in the Assembly elections in 2007.

Because we will go on winning in Wales. We've tasted the success at the general election-and this is just the beginning.

We all want for the same thing - more success and the chance to really make a difference for Wales.

Devolution was supposed to help Wales, but it's not, the way Labour's doing it.

We all know the facts - 296,366 people on waiting lists; Welsh patients waiting 11 days longer than English residents in their own hospitals; twice as many empty consultants' positions in hospitals as England; and over 500 nursing vacancies.

Less than 60% of emergency calls responded to within eight minutes;

64 schools closed;

only one childcare place for every seven children aged under eight;

230 Post Offices closed over the past four years;

40,600 manufacturing jobs lost;

56,415 violent crimes in Wales last year;

GVA per capita in Wales just £12,629, compared to £16,339 in England;

Just 77.3% of England's earnings in comparison to the 79.7% level Wales had reached under Conservatives in 1997;

Employment figures down by 1% in the past year, while the number of those on long term unemployment increased by 16.3%;

The average small business in Wales employing more than 25 people spends 73 hours a month filling in government paperwork;

Powys is the lowest paid region in the whole of the UK (average hours worked are 36.2, for £324.8 a week).

The list goes on …

It's not the "Effing" Welsh Tony. It's the "Effing" Labour party. Just in the past few weeks we have seen plans for council tax revaluation across England cancelled - but no mention of justice for the people of Wales who have already suffered.

People have seen through the stealth tax that has caused nearly a third of homes in Wales to go up a band, despite claims by Labour of as many people benefiting as not - but the people of Wales, having already suffered 80% increases in council tax under Labour, have been forgotten and disrespected once again.

Just as this government wouldn't even grant Wales the priviledge of preserving the names of the Welsh Regiments, this is just another case of more unfair treatment for Wales.

Labour have let Wales down for so long. And Wales knows it deserves so much better.

Of course, as the Assembly elections approach

We see Labour attempting to alter the voting system. Purely to achieve their selfish political aims, now Conservative success has them running scared.

But we will not let their petty politics have an effect on the fruits of our hard work and determination in Wales. We truly rose to the challenge at the general election, and the only way from here is to keep building on our success - to keep improving - to keep winning.

Everyone involved in our successes deserves the utmost praise and congratulations.

Well done for all the hard work that has been done, and that I know will continue to be done in Wales.

And from here, onwards to victory at the 2007 Assembly elections and then to Government."

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