London (Parliament Politics Magazine) – Alun Cairns is a Welsh Conservative Party politician. He is currently serving as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Vale of Glamorgan since 2010. Moreover, he served as Secretary of State for Wales from 2016 to 2019. Previously, he served as a member of the South Wales West region of the National Assembly for Wales from 1999 to 2011. However, after being elected to the British House of Commons in 2010 he quit.
When he was serving as the Secretary of State for Wales in November 2019, he had to suffer from allegations. Many people thought he knew about the ‘sabotage’ of a rape trial by a former aide. In December 2019, he was cleared of breaking the ministerial code. He claimed he did not know the details of the case.
Bio & Early Life
Alun Cairns was born in Swansea, Wales on 30 July 1970. His parents are Hewitt and Margaret Cairns. While growing up in Clydach, he attended Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Pontardawe and Ysgol Gyfun Ddwyieithog Ystalyfera. His father was a welder at Port Talbot Steelworks and his mother a shopkeeper. Later he pursued an MBA at the University of Wales, Newport (now the University of South Wales). Before working for Lloyds Bank in 1989, he was employed as a petrol pump attendant. Afterward, he was promoted to business development manager in 1992, followed by field manager in 1998.
Career in Politics
In the 1997 general election, Cairns ran for the Conservative Party in Gower. It was represented by the Labour Party since 1910. Initially elected as AM for South Wales West in 1999, he was re-elected twice in 2003 and 2007. During this time he served as the party’s spokesperson on economic development and transport for eight years. Holding the education and lifelong learning portfolio in the Third Assembly, he also chaired the Assembly’s Finance Committee.
In 2007 he became Shadow Minister for Education, Lifelong Learning, and Skills in the National Assembly for Wales. A member of both the economic development and audit committees, he consistently challenged Welsh Government policies. These policies include transport infrastructure, European regional aid, public spending, and their effect on the Welsh economy. Additionally, he has strongly opposed plans to create an offshore wind farm near Porthcawl called Scarweather Sands.
In September 2008, Cairns said he asked for a clarification of a National Assembly rule. It was to determine whether he could claim expenses for a second home in Cardiff. Even though his main home was reclassified as being situated in the Vale of Glamorgan, he made many amendments. The Assembly’s House Committee amended the rule in late 2006. It was to allow him to claim expenses related to a flat in Cardiff.
Secretary Of State For Whales
Alun Cairns replaced Stephen Crabb as Secretary of State for Wales on 19 March 2016. He was appointed to the Privy Council on 22 March. He supported Remain in the 2016 EU membership referendum. He was re-elected to his Vale of Glamorgan seat in the 2017 general election. It drastically increased his vote share for the third consecutive election.
As soon as Cairns won re-election in July 2017, he made many good changes in the parliament. He announced that tolls would be abolished on the Severn bridges from England into Wales by the end of the year. Moreover, he predicted it will boost the south Wales economy by £100 million annually.
Cairns became the first MP ever to speak Welsh during a Westminster parliamentary debate in February 2018. It was during a meeting of the Welsh Grand Committee. The Welsh MP said, “I am proud to speak the language I grew up speaking, which is not only important to me, my family, and the communities that Welsh MPs represent, but also a part of Welsh history and culture’’.
Cairns was a vocal supporter of staying in the European Union during the UK’s 2016 referendum. In his pamphlet sent to Wales’s households leading up to the vote, he declared that “Europe needs reform”. Due to this Prime Minister, May diligently obtain a deal. Additionally, the agreement allowed Britain to bypass the Euro. Moreover, it could open borders and the prospect of further union integration – securing what Cairns called a “special status”.
After the UK voted to leave the EU, Cairns endorsed Brexit in June 2017. It was to dismiss the possibility of staying in the European single market after a ‘soft’ Brexit. He expressed his pleasure in March 2018 that economic predictions concerning Brexit had been shown false. Interestingly, he went on to back Theresa May’s negotiated agreement with the EU in November 2018, with some reservations. He explained, “I don’t like every element of this document because we’ve compromised”.
Alun Cairns advocates for decentralization in Wales, saying it could lead to a “new dynamic” similar to England’s devolution. He wishes for Wales to create its own “new dynamic” by making regions like north and west Wales powerful. In 2018, he started the Severn Growth Summit to increase economic development in Wales. It was a part of the idea of a Western Powerhouse which is comparable to the Northern Powerhouse in England.
He is a member of the Downing Street Policy Board since 2013. During a television show EastEnders he talked about teaching children about online threats. It includes things like grooming and access to adult content was in line with the BBC’s mission statement and public purposes. He asserted transparency is essential due to the regressive nature of the television license fee. Even though he still considers himself a “critical friend” of the BBC.
Personal Life & Net Worth
Alun got married to Emma and the couple is blessed with a son. They all live in London and his Vale of Glamorgan constituency. You will be surprised to know that he is an avid marathon runner. As of 2018, he has completed seven runs of the London Marathon. This makes him the seventh fastest MP of all time with a personal best time of 3:28:02. Alun is a prominent and influential politician. His total net worth exceeds $5 million.