Page last updated at 11:47 GMT, Friday, 4 July 2008 12:47 UK

Clash over blog's 'tedious' claim

Gwenda Thomas AM and David Jones MP
The legislation involved social services care charges in Wales

A Welsh assembly government minister has criticised a senior Conservative MP in Wales for calling a piece of legislation "tedious" on his blog.

Gwenda Thomas AM has said she is concerned that David Jones' remarks came from someone involved in scrutinising vital care legislation.

But Clwyd West MP Mr Jones accused Ms Thomas of a "humour by-pass".

He also said that he was referring to a debate and the scrutiny of the legislation had already taken place.

The row follows comments by Mr Jones on his blog about debating a "tedious" order in council.

The order would give the assembly permission to pass laws on charging for non-residential social services care.

In his blog, the MP wrote: "Gloriously warm day in London, the sort that makes you wish you were outside enjoying the sun in St James's Park, rather than indoors debating a particularly tedious draft Order in Council".

But Gwenda Thomas, deputy minister for social services in Wales, said she was concerned by the comments of someone scrutinising a vitally important piece of legislation.

David Jones' blog
David Jones said his remarks were intended to be light-hearted

She said the aim of the order was to provide a charging structure for people needing care that did not vary widely between local authorities.

"We want to end the postcode lottery that currently exists in Wales. Local authority maximum weekly charge rates for home care services range from 16.80 per week to 185 per week," she said.

"David Jones remarks are typical of the Conservatives, who opposed devolution in the first place and are now continuing their anti-devolution stance by undermining and opposing the further devolution of power to the assembly," she said.

But Mr Jones, a shadow minister for Wales, has responded by saying the remarks were light-hearted and the scrutiny of the order had already taken place.

"Only someone with a complete sense of sense of humour by-pass would say this," he said.

"It shows the lady does not even understand the scrutiny process. It was nothing to do with scrutiny at that stage. The scrutiny had already taken place" he added.

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