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Alba Party praise Welsh Labour for not standing in the way of an independence referendum

15 Apr 2021 2 minute read
Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, picture by the SNP (CC BY 3.0). Mark Drakeford. Picture by the Welsh Government.

Scotland’s new Alba Party have praised Welsh Labour for saying that they would not stand in the way of an independence referendum if Plaid Cymru win the Senedd election next month.

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, a former SNP MP and Alba’s main candidate on the Central Scotland list, contrasted Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford’s words with Scottish and UK Labour’s unwillingness to allow a referendum.

Mark Drakeford said last week that he has “always believed that if a party won an election in Wales with a referendum on independence in its manifesto then it would have won the right to hold such a referendum”.

His position stands in contrast with that of Scottish and UK Labour who have ruled out an independence referendum for the whole of the next Holyrood term, even if the SNP and other pro-independence parties win a majority of seats.

However, Mark Drakeford has ruled out an independence referendum as part of any coalition deal between Plaid Cymru and Labour.


“Interestingly, its Labour in Wales that seem to be getting with the programme far better than their Scottish counterparts in terms of understanding the implications for democracy,” Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh told the Scottish National.

“FM Mark Drakeford has said that a referendum on Welsh independence should go ahead if Plaid Cymru win a majority at the Senedd next month and has committed to holding one by 2026 should this party form the next government after May 6.

“Perhaps he should have a word with his colleague in Scotland who has failed to grasp the meaning of democratic choice in a similar way. Perhaps that word should extend to Keir Starmer too and his obstinate, out-of-touch rejection of Scottish voters’ choice.

“This would be another headache for Mr Johnson in the push to break up the UK. Pro-independence majorities in Scotland and Wales, super-majorities in fact, may bring some indy-supporting Labour colleagues out into the open.”

Alex Salmond launched the rival pro-indy party last month with the sole intention of electing more pro-independence MSPs via the list vote.

Opponents have accused the new movement of trying to game the system. A Panelbase poll published yesterday suggested that Alba could end up with five seats if the survey was replicated on polling day.

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