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Plaid Cymru leader claims UK Labour Government would be ‘more of the same’

12 Sep 2023 3 minute read
Plaid Cymru Leader Rhun ap Iorwerth

Rhun ap Iorwerth claimed Mark Drakeford has failed to persuade UK Labour leader Keir Starmer of the importance of fair funding for Wales and suggested that a future Labour UK Government would offer merely “more of the same”.

Plaid Cymru’s leader also accused the Conservative Government in London and Labour Government in Cardiff of not acting in the best interests of Wales, which he said reinforced the feeling that they are “more consumed with fighting each other than fighting for Wales”.

Speaking after the first session of First Minister’s questions since the summer recess, Mr ap Iorwerth  said: “The new Senedd term was the perfect opportunity for the First Minister to give a firm commitment that the lives of the people of Wales would improve, should a Labour government be elected at the next General Election.

“Regrettably, it seems that the First Minister and Keir Starmer haven’t spoken over the summer, or if they have – the Leader of the Labour party isn’t listening.

“Faced with the disastrous fall out of Tory decision making – this was the opportunity for Labour to commit to funding Wales fairly. We know the Conservatives won’t, we hoped Labour would.

“A commitment to giving Wales its £6bn share of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse rail funding, and undoing the harmful cuts to the Welsh budget is not only a financial imperative but it’s also a moral obligation.

“Similarly, the ambivalence around whether new money will be found to fund fair public sector pay rises points to a ‘more of the same’ approach if Keir Starmer inherits the keys to Downing Street.

“Wales needs new thinking to drive down inequality, protect livelihoods and boost the economy and now, more than ever, people are looking for politicians who will fight for Wales.”

Financial mess

In his response to Mr ap Iorwerth, the First Minister said: “Of course, we are in regular discussions with our colleagues in the UK Labour Party. We understand the circumstances that they will face, when and if they become the government, given the financial mess they will inherit.

“I say to the member instead of asking me speculative questions about what may or may not happen in the future, let’s look at what has happened already, because Kier Starmer has made a specific commitment that European funds, as were, will in future, be put in the hands of the Welsh government when they are to be used in Wales.

“So that is a very specific commitment. It demonstrates, I think an understanding on the part of the Labour leadership of where devolved responsibilities properly lie, they will look to strengthen this Senedd.

“They will look to make sure that we have the resources, we need to discharge those responsibilities. They will have no magic wand on the first day, but they will have a very, very different purpose behind the decisions they will make and I believe a very, very different relationship with whoever is in government here.”

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Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
10 months ago

He’s right.

10 months ago
Reply to  Steve A Duggan

He is right but why complain when all Plaid do is vote with labour and back their disastrous policies even when it will wreck havoc on the rural areas which Plaid are supposed to represent. Plaid are no better than a noisy Labour lap dog .

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
9 months ago
Reply to  Dafydd

Plaid Cymru is the main broad opposition in Wales. I do not believe in one party states: they always end badly. PC is not in formal coalition and remains to support each Senedd bill on its merits of doing benefit for the people of Wales. It would be wrong for PC to accept any cabinet post as it would bind us to ‘Welsh Labour’ policy. Plaid Cymru has its role as the only effective opposition party to Labour that is workable and doesn’t come with strings attached from the UK. We see what happened when the Liberal democrats went into… Read more »

10 months ago

Starmer and pals have clearly positioned the Labour Party as the continuity “New Conservatives” to keep the seat warm for the establishment party while they have a bit of time on the naughty step for running just a little too far with the Libertarian ideology for the markets’ liking. Nothing meaningful will come Wales’ way from them. They have already said no PR, no end to the primacy of Westminster, no consequentials for capital expenditure in England that gets a little sticker “& Wales” added on. A vote for Labour is a vote for more Welsh decline in the Tory… Read more »

9 months ago

Rhun’s right, if anything, going by their rhetoric, Starmer’s Labour is trying to out-tory the tories.

There won’t be many happy Llafur Cymru bunnies if this continues. In fact, they may as well grow some and actually declare independence, real independence, instead of being a mere branch office!

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