Labour and Plaid Cymru approve deal to work together in the Senedd – including ‘new media authority’
Labour and Plaid Cymru’s executive committees have both backed an agreement to work together in the Senedd, including the creation of a new authority to tackle the weakness of the media in Wales.
The final hurdle for the deal will be the backing of Plaid Cymru’s members. If ratified it is expected that the final deal will be published tomorrow.
Measures to tackle the second homes crisis are also expected to be included in a Plaid Cymru and Labour deal in the Senedd, sources have said.
It is also expected to include an agreement on changes to the Senedd’s size and electoral system, including a statutory guarantee of gender balance.
It was announced in September that talks between the parties were ongoing after Welsh Labour ended up one seat short of a majority at the Senedd elections in May. There will be no Plaid Cymru ministers in the government.
According to Darren Williams, a Labour Party NEC and WEC member who was at the Labour meeting, First Minister Mark Drakeford had said that “the content of the agreement was entirely in keeping with Labour’s principles, although Plaid would no doubt wish to claim the credit”.
“He also said that past experience suggested that Labour, as the party of government, would have no difficulty claiming its rightful credit for the policies in the agreement.”
He said the deal included:
- Moves to establish rent controls
- The extension of free school meals to all primary school pupils
- Childcare for all two-year-olds; creation of a National Care Service
- Limits on second home ownership; a replacement for council tax
- The creation of a publicly-owned construction company and an energy company
- Changes to the Senedd’s size and electoral system, including a statutory guarantee of gender balance
- Measures to promote the Welsh language.
Separately, BBC Wales were told that the deal includes a commitment to “explore the creation of a shadow Broadcasting and Communications Authority for Wales, to address our concerns about the current fragility in the media and attacks on its independence”.
In September the two parties issued a joint statement which says that with the pandemic, the climate emergency, the consequences of Brexit, and the threat to devolution it was “more important than ever that political parties work together”.
The statement said: “As Wales prepares for a stronger future beyond the coronavirus pandemic; responds to the climate emergency, the ongoing consequences of leaving the European Union, and threats to devolution; it is more important than ever that political parties work together wherever they have common interests on behalf of people in Wales.
“Constructive initial discussions have taken place between the Welsh Labour Government and Plaid Cymru exploring ways of building a more equal, just and democratic nation for all.
“These discussions are continuing to explore an ambitious co-operation agreement to be based around a number of defined policy priorities and the governance arrangements on which the Welsh Labour Government and Plaid Cymru can work together to deliver for Wales.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.