Tory minister brands Labour-Plaid cooperation agreement ‘an absolute travesty’
A Tory cabinet minister has branded the cooperation agreement between Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru as “an absolute travesty”
Welsh Secretary Simon Hart has hit out at the deal, which includes action on free school meals for all, strengthening the Welsh media, the development of north-south railway links, the teaching of Welsh history, and on second homes.
The Conservative politician argued that it “flies right in the face of natural justice” and “democratic principles”.
This is because under the terms of the deal Plaid Cymru are in “government and opposition at the same time”, he said.
He made the comments after the First Minister Mark Drakeford and the Leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price officially signed the wide-ranging cooperation agreement, which covers a total of 46 areas, earlier today.
Simon Hart told ITV Wales: “This agreement is very odd insofar as Plaid Cymru now are bound by collective responsibility. They have special advisers paid for by the taxpayer, who will be part of government. And yet they’re still described as an opposition.
“That is that is an absolute travesty that flies right in the face of natural justice, democratic principles and I’m astonished they can do that with a straight face.
“I mean, forget the legalities of it, seems to me to be very curious when you can be both government and opposition at the same time in the same building, and I’m amazed. I don’t think people will tolerate that. I think people will rumble that quite quickly.”
On signing the cooperation agreement, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Over the next three years, the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru will work together to jointly develop and deliver the policies set out in this Co-operation Agreement.
“This is a bespoke agreement to deliver for Wales but it also captures how Welsh politics works – by finding common ground and sharing good ideas.
“I look forward to working in partnership on this ambitious programme.”
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price said: “Today marks the beginning of a new way of doing politics.
“As Wales faces many challenges from Brexit, the climate emergency and the ongoing pandemic, co-operation has never played such a pivotal part in our democracy.
“The wide-ranging, radical policies included in the Co-operation Agreement – from free school meals for all primary pupils to extending free childcare to all two-year-olds – will change the lives of thousands of families in Wales for the better.
“I’m proud to sign this agreement with the First Minister and look forward to working together to make a difference to the lives of the people of Wales.”
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