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Scottish Labour leader quizzed over pro-indy candidates in Wales

20 Apr 2021 2 minute read
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar. Picture by the Scottish Parliament. Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford. Picture by the Welsh Government.

The new leader of Scottish Labour has been quizzed over why his party is taking such a strong line on support for independence in Scotland while Labour is standing pro-indy candidates in Wales.

The Herald newspaper asked Anas Sarwar why “in Wales, Labour has three candidates standing in the Senedd elections who openly support Welsh independence”.

It comes after Anas Sarwar insisted his position to oppose another independence referendum is “unequivocal”.

He told The Herald that all candidates elected to Holyrood would take up their seats on a mandate opposing Indyref2 – with Scottish Labour taking a much tougher position than in Wales.

“Our candidates are standing on a manifesto that doesn’t support independence, doesn’t support a referendum and that is the mandate which they will serve in the next parliament,” he said.

“I’m appealing to people across that divide and at the same time being honest about what my own view is.”

The SNP have said that they will push for a second referendum if there is a pro-independence majority at Holyrood after the election on May 6.


In Wales, Labour have selected three independence supporting candidates in the Mid and West Wales Region.

Cian Ireland has been selected as the Welsh Labour candidate for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Dylan Lewis-Rowlands has been selected in Ceredigion, and Ben Gwalchmai is standing on the Mid and West Wales regional list.

A YouGov poll in September suggested that a majority of those who voted Labour at the 2019 General Election would back Welsh independence if a referendum was held.

With the figures adjusted to remove those who refused to answer, didn’t know or said that they wouldn’t vote, 51% of respondents who voted for Labour said they would vote for Welsh independence with 49% against.

Unlike his Scottish counterpart, Mark Drakeford has not ruled out an independence referendum in Wales.

“I have always believed that if a party won an election in Wales with a referendum on independence in its manifesto then it would have won the right to hold such a referendum,” he told Today.

“But if a party puts that proposition and doesn’t win a majority, it could not expect that then to be implemented.”

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