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Conservative commentator complains about Welsh Labour allowing pro-indy candidates

11 Jan 2022 3 minutes Read
The independence march in Merthyr Tydfil on 7 September. Pictures by Lluniau Lleucu

A conservative commentator has complained about Welsh Labour allowing pro-independence candidates to stand for the party in parliamentary elections.

Henry Hill, Deputy Editor of ConservativeHome, lamented the Westminster Labour Party’s “failure to crack down” on this, and described it as “deeply concerning”.

He was responding to reports that Scottish Labour might follow the party’s example in Wales by allowing pro-independence to stand in parliamentary elections too.

According to the Sunday Times it is one of the options that senior Labour figures are discussing in a bid to overturn more than a decade of SNP dominance in Scotland.

A senior Labour source told the Sunday Times: “Yes we are a pro-unionist party but we are a broad church. That means you could have candidates who back independence. You don’t have to have a binary position; you can have people with different stances.”

In an article for CapX, Hill wrote: “Naturally, the headlines have been stolen by suggestions that Labour might run pro-independence candidates in Scotland, as they already have in Wales. But whilst the national party’s failure to crack down on this is deeply concerning, this time at least it looks like someone freelancing.”

Hill also hit out at the idea that Westminster should hand over more powers to the parliaments of the devolved nations.

‘Real cause for dismay’ 

He added: “It’s the actual proposals in Brown’s upcoming report, to which Starmer appears to have committed himself in advance, that are the real cause for dismay. Once again, he is touting ‘devo-max’.

He quoted the Sunday Times, which said: “Gordon Brown’s blueprint for devolving further sweeping powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is expected to recommend Holyrood be handed responsibility to set its own policy in most areas but not defence and foreign affairs.”

Hill added: “When I have crossed swords with Brown and other devolutionaries over the past couple of years, I’ve been told that my characterisation of their position as just being about ‘more powers!’ is unfair. It’s actually so much more imaginative, all about finding ways to reform the centre so the Union works better and…

“But no. With the bleak inevitability of an unloved season, here we are again. Keep giving more powers to the devocrats and hope that this time, for reasons that cannot be clearly explained, it works.”

In response to suggestions that pro-independence candidates could stand for the party, Scottish Labour said: “Keir Starmer and Anas Sarwar are committed to delivering a Labour government that works for all people across the UK.”

John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, has warned that recent polls suggest devo-max is less popular than the status quo or independence.

He said: “Devo-max does not address the issue that now fuels much of the support for independence: opposition to Brexit.”

Welsh Labour fielded three pro-independence candidates at the last Senedd election. Cian Ireland stood for the party in Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Dylan Lewis-Rowlands stood in Ceredigion, and Ben Gwalchmai stood on the Mid and West Wales list.

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Rob
Rob
13 days ago

But its okay for Tories to field candidates who want to abolish the Senedd and make us part of England.

Gareth
Gareth
13 days ago

Corrupt dirty tricks party, complain, other parties might be about to copy their tactics.
Laughable comment from a party funded by dodgy Russians.

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
13 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

And the rest of the world criminals

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
13 days ago

But far right English fascists who dragged us out of Europe and want to wipe out Welsh and Scottish democracy are ok? They reek of hypocrisy, child molestation and corruption.

Don-Jam
Don-Jam
12 days ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Many Tories may well wish to “wipe out Welsh and Scottish democracy” but they did not “dragged us out of Europe”, I remember a referendum (were Wales voted out) and a UK wide election on the issue. Don’t like it? That’s the problem with democracy.

hdavies15
hdavies15
13 days ago

Mr Hill seems hell bent on outdoing his namesake in the funny stakes. Sadly he will only appeal to quite a narrow seam of the audience, those who thrive on bullying and generally dictating what is “good” and what isn’t. Boy has serious delusions of superiority which may be deeply embedded from his time as a predatory bandit in a remote public school for boys only.

Paul
Paul
13 days ago

All good. We NEED the independence question to be a part of every political discussion.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
13 days ago

I genuinely thought people like Hill were a thing of the past, but he is very much representative of his political party in its current manifestation. His whole language is saturated with arrogance, assumed superiority, narrow-mindedness, and prejudice. Through the one-man echo-chamber that constitutes his Conservative Home output, he has now sunk to the level of being an anti-Welsh and anti-Scottish hired gun on behalf of the Johnson government in their war on any form of Welsh or Scottish particularism. He takes UK statism to new levels of bigotry without saying anything that would land him in court.

Andrew
Andrew
13 days ago

So pleased to hear that this behaviour is,’ deeply concerning’, to this conservative commentator. What is a conservative commentator? Is that one of them,’ influencer’, types, but one that went to Eton?

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
13 days ago

It’s ironic to hear how Henry Hill, Deputy Editor of Conservative Home whining about Welsh Labour allowing Pro-independence candidates to stand in Welsh parliamentary elections. Its called democracy.

Saying that. The Tories have been allowing fascists & Anti-devolution candidates to stand as MSs MPs & councillors since time immemorial.

Last edited 13 days ago by Y Cymro
Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
13 days ago

Encouraging as pro welsh indy candidates standing for labour in Wales is i will take it a bit more seriously when they start selecting pro welsh indy candidates in winnable seats

Owain Arfon Jones
Owain Arfon Jones
13 days ago

I find the fact that Welsh Labour are prepared to put up pro independence candidates for election quite exciting particularly as Plaid Cymru are not making any progress in capturing Welsh Labour seats so this is clearly the best next option. What will this mean for Plaid Cymru in electoral terms along with the deal remains to be seen but Welsh Labour are openly moving the Overton Window leftwards in Wales where their tanks are now well and truly parked on Plaid Cymru’s lawns.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
13 days ago

Er not quite….welsh labour leader mark drakeford remains a staunch defender of the union – he repeatedly attacked welsh independence during last year’s senedd election…and the ‘welsh labour party’ remains a regional branch of the uk labour party and is controlled from london. And selecting allegedly indy supporting candidates in a couple of seats labour have no hope of winning means nothing. It remains a fact that not a single candidate standing for labour in the senedd election last year stated in their election literature they wanted a referendum on welsh independence. If people want welsh indy they need to… Read more »

Last edited 13 days ago by Leigh Richards
Cat
Cat
13 days ago

Welsh Labour fielded way more than 3 pro independence candidates in the Senedd election. Newspapers only picked up 3. Most candidates were never asked their view by the press.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
13 days ago
Reply to  Cat

Thats categorically untrue. In fact one of the labour candidates who claimed to support independence backtracked on it during the senedd election. Another fact : not a single candidate standing for labour in the senedd election last year stated in their election literature they wanted a referendum on welsh independence.

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
13 days ago

The Tory party is a crime syndicate working out of Westminster with branches in Cardiff and Edinburugh and pillages our countries for Westminster gain

Grayham Jones
11 days ago

Kick all English party’s out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

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