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