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Labour accused of being ‘in disarray’ after Shadow Minister’s S4C interview

19 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Llyr Gruffydd

A Plaid Cymru MS has accused the Labour Party of being in “disarray” following mixed messages from Welsh ministers and the Shadow Welsh secretary over the devolution of justice.

Llyr Gruffydd made the comments after Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Cabinet Officer Rebecca Evans responded to a question about the devolution of policing and justice by contradicting her UK Labour counterpart Jo Stevens.

Mr Gruffydd asked the minister, “What assessment has the Cabinet Secretary made of the need to devolve powers over policing to Wales”

She replied, “We have been clear that policing should be devolved to Wales. We are continuing to consider the next steps put forward by the independent team led by retired Chief Constable, Carl Foulkes which explored the potential options for a devolved policing service in Wales.

S4C interview

The exchange follows comments from Ms Stevens during a much-criticised S4C interview, during which she refused to commit to devolving policing to Wales – something long called for by Labour in the Senedd.

She described giving powers over justice and policing to the Welsh Government as“fiddling around with structures and systems”.

“No one would be forgiven for trying to rip up and reconstruct the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice at a time when crime is blighting our streets,” she added.

‘Speaking with a forked tongue’

Mr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru’s MS for North Wales, said: “The UK Labour shadow Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens was unequivocal in her refusal to consider devolving policing and justice to Wales if Labour win the General Election.

“Yet her counterpart in Wales, Rebecca Evans, is equally unequivocal in her answer to my question about this matter. She wants this to happen.

“Labour in Wales has been an outright supporter of the devolution of policing for years. The 2021-2026 programme for Government and the Labour 2021 manifesto clearly states that this government is committed to ‘pursuing the case for the devolution of policing and justice’. They reiterated this call in 2022 stating: ‘It is clear that Wales does not benefit from this UK Government-led approach’.


“Three further reports have made the case for devolving criminal justice powers, but UK Labour isn’t listening to Wales – with even its own members being ignored in the scramble to centralise power.

“Labour is in disarray and is speaking with a forked tongue. The situation is totally unsustainable because, once in power in London, Labour will continue to ignore expert voices and their own members in Wales as they always have done.

“At what point do Labour members in Wales realise that they’re constantly being taken for granted, their views are ignored, and that people can see that it’s London calling the tune? The only way Wales gets noticed is when we vote Plaid Cymru. That’s the stark choice ahead of people in a fortnight.”


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Annibendod
Annibendod
25 days ago

“At what point do Labour members in Wales realise that they’re constantly being taken for granted, their views are ignored, and that people can see that it’s London calling the tune? The only way Wales gets noticed is when we vote Plaid Cymru. That’s the stark choice ahead of people in a fortnight.”

I’ll just leave this here for all those who are thinking of voting Labour.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
25 days ago

For years we’ve had numerous Welsh Labour First Ministers state a Labour government in London would be more sympathetic to the devolution of Policing & Criminal Justice than the Tories. How naive they were. Square that circle Vaughan Gething. We have a legislative Welsh parliament bound by an English Criminal Justice system. And it is English not English & Welsh. No country would find this acceptable. Why does UK Labour feel it’s good enough for Wales? Is power more important to them than democracy. Yes. Power corrupts and they are showing signs of rust. Having its devolution will not. I… Read more »

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