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‘Labour should listen to its voters on independence’ says YesCymru cofounder  

13 Apr 2021 3 minutes Read
Iestyn ap Rhobert

A cofounder of YesCymru has told the Labour Party that it “should be listening” to its voters on Welsh independence.

Iestyn ap Rhobert, who was the first Chair of the grassroots pro-independence group when it was launched in 2016, made the comments in an interview with Politics.co.uk.

He pointed to an opinion poll that put support for Welsh independence at 51% among Labour voters.

Rhobert, argued that Wales keeps getting Tory governments in Westminster that it didn’t vote for.

He also said that a federal UK, which is favoured by the First Minister Mark Drakeford “is not the way forward”.

Iestyn ap Rhobert said: “Independence will happen, I have no doubt about that. I think people are starting to realise that we keep getting Tory government in Westminster, yet Wales hasn’t actually voted for a Tory government or a Tory majority since the 1850s.

“So we tend to be landed up with governments that we don’t necessarily vote for in the UK.”

‘Misgoverned’ 

He added:  “That means that things that are important to our culture, I think a sense of social justice is possibly stronger in Wales because there’s poverty here, but that poverty is not down to ourselves as a nation. It’s down to being misgoverned for decades.

“There’s some good noises from the Labour Party as well. There are a lot of people within their ranks now, 51% of Welsh Labour voters would vote for independence if a referendum was help tomorrow.

“So the Labour Party in Wales needs to kind of reassess what it is. Federalism is not the way forward. They should be listening to their voters I think.”

YesCymru activist Calum O’Neil added: “I think there’s definitely an element of, within us as younger voters, as older that we’re not maybe being heard through Westminster.

“That there’s certain things we’d like to see in Wales that perhaps haven’t happened.

“I think Wales is looking after our younger voters. We’ve just passed the right for 16-year-olds to vote in the Senedd.

“That’s something that hasn’t been seen in England, and I think motions like that in Wales are really important to keep young voters onside for Welsh independence.

“I think it’s about representing everybody, and I think unfortunately, I don’t think that Westminster does that.”

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