Wales caught between Tories “contempt for devolution” and Labour's lack of clear action
Plaid Cymru’s new leader promises to “keep making the case for Wales’s own future”
Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, Plaid Cymru’s newly elected leader has laid down a clear challenge to the First Minister, stating that the Wales he is “striving” for is “more ambitious, fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
Mr ap Iorwerth, who was announced as Plaid Cymru’s leader last Friday, criticised the Tories “contempt for devolution” but was quick to point out that the Welsh Government is not without power.
On the matter of HS2, water and devolution of justice and policing, Mr ap Iorwerth said that Welsh Government’s “has to offer more than words” and called on the First Minister to acknowledge that his government has not made any formal request for its devolution, despite it being a policy position for nearly a decade.
Mr ap Iorwerth raised the matter with Mark Drakeford in what was his first Questions to the First Minister, to which the First Minister said his government had made “tiny bits of ground”.
Leader of Plaid Cymru, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, said:
“Westminster’s drag on Wales’s potential has been abundantly clear to increasing numbers of people. As a party, the Tories can barely hide their contempt for devolution. That’s why it’s important for Welsh Government to use the powers they have now to initiate positive change, particularly on issues they’ve stood for election on.
“While Labour in Wales might agree with Plaid Cymru on matters such as HS2 and the devolution of water, their lack of clear action is speaking louder than their words. This is no more apparent than with the devolution of justice and policing. Despite this being an apparent policy position of the Labour Welsh Government for nearly ten years, thanks to the work of my colleague Lord Wigley, we hear that no formal request has been made by Welsh Government for the devolution of justice and policing. The First Minister may dispute this fact, but we’ve seen no evidence that the request has been made.
“The UK Labour Leader Keir Starmer won’t promise to deliver on these issues, therefore it’s incumbent on the First Minister to hold his own party’s feet to the fire. Until he fights for the full powers to forge our own future, we in Plaid Cymru will keep making the case for our own future.”