A local Labour Senedd Member has slammed Welsh Secretary Simon Hart MP for putting the interests of his party above those of Welsh farmers.

Speaking in the agricultural funding debate in the Senedd last week, Joyce Watson MS questioned rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths about the UK Government’s decision to slash Wales’ agricultural budget.

The Mid and West Wales MS called on Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart to step up and act as the Secretary of State for Wales, not the Tory Party, and said that he had never stood up for Wales' interests within the Westminster government.

The minister set out the implications of the cuts to Welsh agricultural funding announced in the UK Government’s recent spending review. She explained that the UK Government had allocated £137million less funding to Wales than expected next year, and that she and colleagues had tried to resolve this shortfall with the UK government.

The Farmers Union of Wales has branded the UK government's decision a ‘Brexit betrayal’.

Referring to Mr Hart, Joyce Watson MS said: "We haven't got a Secretary of State for Wales, we've got a Secretary of State for the Tory Party, because as far as I'm concerned, he's never stood up for Wales. The farmers have made it perfectly clear that this is going to be detrimental to their future survival."

Mrs Griffiths responded: "One of the things that really concerns me is the lack of engagement both from the Treasury in London, where I have tried to have meetings, and certainly, along with my Scottish and Northern Ireland counterparts, as soon as we realised the issue that this was going to bring, and they refused to engage with us; we've just been met with silence.

"And so, I then tried to get a meeting with the Secretary of State for Wales and his junior minister. I managed to get that – after much persuasion on my part – the day before the comprehensive spending review. And I believed that the Secretary of State for Wales actually understood my concerns, and he did say he would go straight to the Treasury to discuss that for me.

"Unfortunately, the next day, we saw the CSR, a week ago, and the level of underfunding that we now have. But I will continue to pursue it. I am going to carry on fighting this, for our farmers and for our rural communities.

"My colleague Rebecca Evans, the minister for finance, has written to the Treasury on this subject; I have a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs inter-ministerial group meeting on Monday, where I will continue to pursue it."

Joyce Watson represents the Senedd region of Mid and West Wales.