Labour leadership frontrunners call for more autonomy for Wales
Both Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey, the frontrunners in the Labour leadership contest, have called for a more autonomy for Wales within the United Kingdom.
Keir Starmer will today call for a fully federal UK to “repair the shattered trust in politics” will almost all powers devolved to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
He will say that the country needs a new political consensus to “put power, wealth and opportunity back into the hands of the people”.
“We need a new constitutional settlement: a large-scale devolution of power and resources. This will involve building a new long-term political and constitutional consensus. I believe that could best be built on the principle of federalism,” he will say.
“We need to end the monopoly of power in Westminster and spread it across every town, city, region and nation of the United Kingdom.”
Rebecca Long-Bailey also said on Sunday that the Welsh and Scottish parliaments needed to be as “autonomous and independent” as they could possibly be.
Speaking at a leadership hustings, she said: “When we devolved power to Scotland and Wales they were never meant to be a satellite government with Westminster being the king and them being servile under the bottom. They were meant to be on an equal footing. That’s what we need to push forward for.
“I’m always going to argue for the union. But I want our Scottish parliament and our Welsh parliament to feel as completely autonomous and independent as they possibly can whilst having that collaborative relationship with Westminster.
“That’s why we need to devolve real power – fiscal power, economic power and political power – to Wales and Scotland.”
Keir Starmer is currently the bookies’ favourite to win the Labour leadership, with Rebecca Long-Bailey in second place.
To make the ballot, the candidates need the support of three unions and affiliate groups representing 5% of the membership, or 33 local branches.
Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy have already secured the required support ahead of the 14 February deadline.
Rebecca Long-Bailey needs just one more union or affiliate to join them, having secured the support of Unite and BFAWU.
The new Labour leader and deputy leader will be announced on 4 April.