Labour backing Welsh independence in future is ‘entirely plausible’, says candidate
It’s “entirely plausible” that Labour could support Welsh independence in the future, according to one of the party’s candidates.
Lee Waters, who is standing in the marginal constituency of Llanelli, made the comments in an interview with LabourList ahead of Thursday’s Senedd election.
A recent opinion poll put support for Welsh independence at 39%, and another suggested that a majority of 51% of those who voted Labour at the 2019 General Election would back it.
Waters, who won the seat by just 1.3% of the vote at the 2016 election, said although Labour could end up supporting Welsh independence, it would be a “failure” if it did.
He said: “But that would be a failure. That is not where we want to be. That would be a defensive measure in response to a series of wrong turns.”
The candidate said he believes in a “sharing, redistributive” union and he offered the example of providing personal protective equipment during Covid, an area for which he was responsible as a minister in the Welsh Government.
He claimed that Wales would have run out of PPE in the first wave without supplies from the rest of the UK.
But added that later Wales bailed out England, Scotland and Northern Ireland repeatedly.
He said: “That’s how it should be. Helping each other through difficult times,” he says. His thinking on this extends across policy areas.
“I care as much about children in poverty in Liverpool as I do about children in Llanelli. We are, to use the phrase, better together, where it’s working well.”
Waters faces a challenge from Plaid Cymru candidate Helen Mary Jones, who first held Llanelli from 1999 and took the seat again in 2007.
He said: “This is a turnout election, really. It’s going to be all about who can get their vote out.
“The polls always show Llanelli going to Plaid because the polls apply uniform national swing. Uniform national swing never works here.”
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