Welsh Labour to debate further devolution from UK party
Labour Party members and affiliated groups will be asked to vote this weekend on a motion to further devolve the rulebook to Welsh Labour.
Alyn and Deeside MS, Jack Sargeant will speak in favour of the motion at Welsh Labour’s Spring Conference in Llandudno (10 – 12 March).
September 2022 marked 25 years of Welsh devolution and in an interview with Nation.Cymru, Mr Sargeant explains why he thinks now is the time to take his party on that same journey.
“Looking back now, we’ve been on the journey of devolution since the late Rhodri Morgan – an incredible leader.
“In Wales, and within the party, we’ve been successful when we’ve made decisions in devolution.
“If you look back to the 2021 (Senedd) election – we won that, under the circumstances in which Labour in the UK was struggling. We came out with our best results ever in the Senedd.”
It was, Mr Sargeant said “the uniqueness of Welsh Labour,” and the personal appeal of First Minister Drakeford, which secured such a solid victory in the 2021 Senedd elections.
To date, all Welsh First Ministers have been Labour.
Having already spoken of his admiration for both Rhodri Morgan and Mark Drakeford, what does Mr Sargeant have to say about former First Ministers Alun Michael and Carwyn Jones?
He says he prefers “the boldness” of Mr Morgan and Mr Drakeford, “that’s where the devolution journey started, and then grew,” he said.
Naturally, he hopes that everyone will get on board on Saturday. However, he said that he’s also, “realistic in the fact that some people will not see this as the route to go.”
“We’ll see, but I’m confident that this motion will be passed. It has good support off the Senedd Labour Group and Labour Party representatives from all corners of Wales.
“It’s about protecting, and strengthening, that uniqueness that makes Welsh Labour successful for the next 25 years.
“If this motion passes, I’d imagine there would need to be a piece of work from Welsh Labour or (its) executive committee, about what further devolution looks like.”
Mr Sargeant would like that to happen “as a matter of urgency” he says, “then the big step would be to take our proposals, in solidarity, together as one Welsh Labour, to the UK conference in September.”
It would then be up to UK Labour to give permission to further devolve the rulebook to Welsh Labour.
The motion to conference has been tabled by four Constituency Labour Party (CLPs) branches, being: Ceredigion; Ynys Môn; Montgomeryshire and Clwyd South.
Ken Skates, Welsh Labour MS for Clwyd South told Nation.Cymru that he will not be supporting the motion put forward by his CLP.
He said: “I think Welsh Labour has proved to be an incredibly successful election machine in the past 25 years, but I don’t think it should split from UK Labour. We are stronger when we are part of a bigger organisation.”
Mr Skates added: “I have to confess, I don’t take as much of an interest in the devolution of responsibilities within the party as I do devolution to our nation, and to our regions.”
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