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Tory comms plan could ‘drive more people towards independence’ says Carwyn Jones

03 Feb 2021 2 minute read
Former First Minister Carwyn Jones. Picture: National Assembly.

A former First Minister has said that a comms plan briefed to the media by the Tories could “drive more people towards independence”.

Carwyn Jones, the Labour MS for Bridgend, was responding to a report by the BBC suggesting that the UK government will soon be hosting regular “lobby briefings” for journalists with the Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart.

Mr Jones said that Wales is “strongly devolutionist” and that “any attempt to portray unionism as London centralism” would backfire.

He said: “Whoever the UK govt source is here, they’re on dangerous ground. Wales is strongly devolutionist and any attempt to portray unionism as London centralism will simply drive more people towards independence.”

BBC Wales’ Westminster correspondent Ione Wells has reported that a Welsh special adviser has been working behind the scenes in No 10 Downing Street’s union unit over the past few months.

According to Downing Street sources, while their approach is more defensive when it comes to Scotland, the Boris Johnson is said to be is excited by opportunities in Wales.

One senior UK government source told the BBC: “There’s definitely an increased recognition within No 10 that Wales is a strong unionist nation, and that there is an opportunity to build upon the 2019 general election result by levelling up the Welsh communities that have felt left behind by both the Welsh Government and previous UK governments.”

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