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Labour Senedd Member slams UK party plan to ban coalitions with SNP or Plaid Cymru

28 Aug 2022 2 minute read
Alun Davies on Senedd TV. Keir Starmer by Peter Byrne / PA images

A Labour Senedd Member has slammed as “nonsense” a plan by the UK party to rule out ever going into a formal coalition with Welsh or Scottish nationalist parties.

The Sun newspaper revealed today that Labour are considering changing their constitution to make it impossible to go into coalition with the SNP or Plaid Cymru.

Changing the constitution would head off accusations by the Conservative Party that Labour would jump into bed with pro-independence parties if they fell short of a majority – an accusation that dogged Ed Miliband in 2015.

The Labour source told the Sun on Sunday: “We are looking at writing it into our manifesto at conference. We don’t need to go into a formal coalition with the SNP.

“What are the SNP going to do? Vote down a Labour government and bring the Tories in? That would be catnip for us.

“If we can’t do it with the constitution at conference we will figure out some other mechanism to do it.”

‘Failures’

But the change could be inconvenient for Welsh Labour in the Senedd, who due to the parliament’s proportional voting system has never won a majority.

They have often sought out Plaid Cymru as partners in order to get legislation through the Welsh parliament, including a formal coalition between 2007 and 2011, and are currently in a cooperation agreement together.

Reacting to the news of the constitutional change, Blaenau Gwent Senedd Member Alun Davies said it was “nonsense”.

“Welsh Labour has a cooperation agreement with Plaid, and we have had a coalition with Plaid in the past,” he said.

“It’s time for UK Labour to learn from the success of Welsh Labour rather than the failures of Scottish Labour.”

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies meanwhile said that the proposed change was ignoring the fact that Labour were already working with nationalists in Wales.

“Labour in Wales have already shown that they’re prepared to cosy up to separatists so they can cling to power,” he said.

“For Labour, being in charge matters more than our historic union.”


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William-Glyn THOMAS
William-Glyn THOMAS
29 days ago

I have always maintained it is more sensible that Llafur should be an independent party who would support English Labour on policies that they both agree upon

Gareth
Gareth
29 days ago

Could be a vote winner for Labour in England, and as a unionist party, I see no reason for any Labour member or politician in Cymru to moan about it. It all comes down to what you aspire to, either indy, if so what are you doing in a unionist party or power at Westminster as a uionist UK party. Mr Drakeford is always at pains to point out his unionist credentials, and trumpet the benefits he thinks we derive from being a part of the DUK.

Glen
Glen
29 days ago

The question is why would Plaid or the SNP ever want to be in coalition with a hard line unionist party like Labour.
Labour is part of the problem not the solution.

defaid
defaid
29 days ago
Reply to  Glen

National politics has been manipulated by the two main parties to reduce the others to near-irrelevance.

It’s vanishingly unlikely that they’d consider cooperating with the right wing and its current extremism. Labour, for all its centralised unionism is where many votes are and a coalition offers the chance of influencing national decision-making.

Glen
Glen
29 days ago
Reply to  defaid

In Scotland Labour are quite happy to share platforms with Tories ‘to defend the union’.
They’ve even gone into coalition with them at council level just to keep the SNP out.

If there is a 2nd independence referendum you can bet that there’ll be Welsh Labour politicians rushing north to help the cause, just as they did las time.

Gareth
Gareth
29 days ago
Reply to  Glen

Quite right Glen, Labour are a unionist party, first and last, and if that means a coalition with the Tory party to maintain the union, then that is what they will do.

defaid
defaid
29 days ago

Starmer has finally found a way to ensure he remains as the opposition, a position in which he is manifestly most comfortable.

Not because such a ban will turn away left-leaning voters. Rather, because by bolstering the two main UK parties’ eternal drive to marginalise everyone else, he’s reinforcing the nature of national politics as a two-horse race.

Under such circumstances, UK labour will always come second.

Under that circumstance, Welsh Labour will never be in a position to achieve whatever Wales really needs.

It’s time for Llafur to split from the UK party and to declare for Wales.

Gareth
Gareth
29 days ago
Reply to  defaid

Why would they split, when Labour are a unionist party ? If you are for the union, stay with Labour, if you are for Indy, form a seperate party, and there is no need to split, or ask for seperate agendas, Labour is a unionist party, it’s like asking Cardiff city fans, to form a section to support Swansea , no sense at all. You need a new identity.

Gareth
Gareth
29 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

Please tell me, if you split from London,how can you be a party for Cymru, when your leader supports the union, and would rather maintain the union, than upset the status quo, which needs to be done to improve our lot, the status quo keeps Cymru down, and the leader of Labour here supports it.

defaid
defaid
29 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

First, the leader is not the party, unless of course you are one of Starmer’s adherents. Second, a newly independent Llafur would not be beholden to Westminster Labour’s unionist policy. Third, if members wish for a coalition, then it should happen. Fourth, ditto independence, which you brought up. Fifth, a split doesn’t preclude a coalition in Westminster between Llafur and English Labour, except that by then Labour will have shot themselves in the foot by… banning coalitions. Sixth, “if you split from London, how can you be a party for Cymru?” doesn’t really require an answer, does it, particularly when… Read more »

Last edited 29 days ago by defaid
Gareth
Gareth
28 days ago
Reply to  defaid

How can you remain as the Labour party, is what I am asking, when Labour is a unionist party, you either change the name, or stay as Labour with all the history and policies. It would be misleading to stand as Labour and claim not to support all that the current Labour party stands for. Just look at how many are elected as independent councilors, and vote with the Tory’s every time, its misleading to the voters. Don’t question my commitment to my country and the way forward, when it was a Labour leader T Blair who said Devolution was… Read more »

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
28 days ago
Reply to  defaid

Point 5: Welsh Labour are currently not “separatists”, so Uncle Starmer would allow it.

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
29 days ago

When are people going to wake up and see that Starmer is a tory shill, he is not in any way shape or form a left wing politician, whatever BS he comes out with, The Labour Party uk have lost members hand over fist since Kieth lied his way to the leadership

Gareth
Gareth
29 days ago

From my home in Cymru, Labour seem to be just Tory “lite”, refusing to support striking workers, refusing to make it official policy to nationalise basic industry such as water, gas electricity, rail, post, all of which are the norm in centre left country’s of Europe. England has and is drifting further to the right and as such making public these policies would, here, be vote winners, but in England,, with the the right wing press dominant, be electoral suicide. The press will, and have, destroyed the lef,t from Harold Wilson to Jeremy Corbyn. Starmer is playing to his English… Read more »

Crwtyddol
Crwtyddol
29 days ago

Labour are in danger of painting themselves into a corner. No to rejoining the EU. No to coalition. Its important to stay flexible and ready to react to situations that aren’t necessarily expected.
Blair’s Big failing, apart from Iraq, was that he didn’t bring in PR. Perhaps their constitution was against it but things would be different if they’d considered possibilities that could not be forecasted.

Paul
Paul
29 days ago

This is a terrible idea from a Labour Unionist party. 1) Saying that the representatives of the Scottish people cannot be allowed to enter the Government of the UK will drive Scottish Independence. 2) It would also leave the Welsh Labour Party in a precarious position and open to attacks as Welsh Labour often rely on Plaid support. The Conservatives will have a field day saying Labour are working with people the UK party deem dangerous. UK Labour position should be, The voters decide on the composition of the Government if they want us to govern alone they will give… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
29 days ago

Is Keir Starmer that petty to allow the Conservatives to remain in government just because he doesn’t want to do a deal with the SNP & Plaid Cymru if there were ever a hung parliament at Westminster? Very selfish and irusponsible. He forgets the consequences of not doing a deal. A fine example was Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swindon. She refused to support Jeremy Corbyn becoming interime prime minister to stop the Tories retaining office, a decision that ultimately put Boris Johnson into office resulting in one of the most idiocratic dangerous governments in British political history. Jo Swinson said… Read more »

Glwyo
Glwyo
28 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Of course he is, Labour is an anglocentric party above all else. Collaborating with the Celts would undermine everything the Labour party stands for.

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
29 days ago

Keir Starmer is making the same mistake that the Tories have. That is to say, he is trying so desperately to regain seats in middle England, most of which he can’t win, that he’s risking losing voters, not only in Wales, but also in the English regions. This situation demonstrably shows why the Westminster electoral system is just absurd. The Tories and Labour throw the baby out with the bath water in pursuit of a minority of voters at the expense of the majority. Llafur SHOULD seperate from English Labour, but I doubt they have guts to do it. They’re… Read more »

Geraint
Geraint
28 days ago

So what will Labour do about their relationship with the SDLP in Northern Ireland? SDLP MPs have traditionally taken the Labour whip in Westminster. This nationalist party is in favour of the province leaving the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and joining the Republic. So independence is fine for Ireland but is wrong for Wales and Scotland?

Cymro Cymraeg
Cymro Cymraeg
28 days ago

Prior to the most recent council elections, the Tories and Labour were in a cosy coalition in Aberdeen. This was organised in order to stop the SNP (incidentally the largest group) from running the council!……………..Starmer won’t like to be reminded!

Glwyo
Glwyo
28 days ago

There goes ARTD again, talking about “our historic union”. Presumably he means the one between England and Scotland, not sure what other ones exist.

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