Senior Tory raises prospect of a deal with Welsh nationalists

After weeks of accusations that Ed Miliband is in Alex Salmond’s pocket, a senior Conservative is promoting a deal with a party that is actively seeking the break-up of the UK

Wales: The assembly elections are under way

 

A Conservative cabinet minister has raised the prospect of doing a deal with the Welsh nationalists, Plaid Cymru, following next year’s elections to the Assembly.

Speaking to Institute of Welsh Politics annual lecture last night, the secretary of state for Wales, Stephen Crabb, launched a scathing attack on Welsh Labour.

Declaring that Labour in Wales have become ‘complacent’ after 16 years of continued presence in government, he said to those assembled:

“It starts to believe it has a divine right to govern. It begins to dismiss proper scrutiny and challenge as an irritation. And it is slow to spot the slow erosion of standards in the public services under its stewardship.

“In short, there is a presumption of power. That cannot be right in any healthy democracy.

“And it cannot be good for our nation of Wales… I want to see an end to Wales being the last bastion of continuous one-party rule in the UK.”

Significantly, Crabb raised the prospect of a Conservative-Lib Dem-Plaid Cymru deal following the elections to the Assembly next year.

Looking back at the speculation in 2011 that such a rainbow coalition could have been possible then, the secretary of state concluded:

“[In] hindsight, I believe that such a coalition would have been in the best interests of Wales, creating a more diverse and plural approach to policy making and encouraging wider democratic debate.

“This may seem an ambitious prospect. Or just plain fantasy. The divergent views between the three parties are obvious.”

He continued:

“But I believe there is also a great deal of common ground: a progressive and proactive approach to devolving further powers to the Assembly, a shared ambition for a fair funding settlement for Wales, an outlook which takes in all four corners of Wales, not just Cardiff, Swansea and the Valleys and a mutual aim for more accountable government in Cardiff.

“The three pro-devolution parties in Wales: Welsh Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, and Plaid Cymru, could – possibly could – provide a fresh, effective alternative to the monopolistic hold on the levers of government in Wales by the Labour party.”

Unsurprisingly, Welsh Labour have responded with anger at the suggestion, declaring that what would be unhealthy for Wales ‘would be a Tory, Plaid and Lib Dem government slashing education funding by up to 20 per cent, scrapping free prescriptions and bringing back the failed grammar school system.’

On one level much of this remains very local politics in responses to the particular circumstances surrounding the Assembly in Cardiff Bay.

But it does raise a much wider question that Labour should now seize. After weeks of Ed Miliband being taunted by David Cameron about being in Alex Salmond’s pocket, here now, for the first time, a senior UK politician is talking up the prospects of doing a deal with a party in Wales actively seeking the break-up of the UK.

And it should not be forgotten that throughout the 2007-2011 Scottish Parliament the Conservatives were more than happy to do deals with what was then a minority SNP Government.

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter

7 Responses to “Senior Tory raises prospect of a deal with Welsh nationalists”

  1. SgtVimes

    So Cameron is willing to ride into Downing Street on the coat tails of Ieuan Wyn Jones. It wouldn’t be Leanne Wood, she’s a woman so clearly not in the PM’s consciousness.

  2. Leon Wolfeson

    I expect PC has more sense.

  3. IRejectFPTP

    No way will Plaid ally with tories. Especially as they are talking of allying with SNP and Greens. Just more tory smoke and mirrors

  4. littleoddsandpieces

    PLAID CYMRU HAVE ANOTHER WAY TO BRING ABOUT A WHOLE DIFFERENT GOVERNMENT

    Plaid Cymru is a left wing party, as is SNP, and so natural allies to Labour to bring it back to its core values.

    In other countries, multi party support and confidence coalitions

    (where each party keeps it osn identity)

    have worked very successfully, bringing stable government.

    Plaid Cymru and SNP could ally in a UK Westminster government from May, by the power of the poor, who outnumber all other voters in huge parts of the UK, with other different parties in England.

    Especially as it will the poor who will be home,

    with most others away from home on holiday elsewhere in UK

    or abroad during the May Bank Holiday Week.

    Most charter package flights are Sunday to Sunday.

    PARTIES WHO OFFER THE POOR ANYTHING AT ALL, OF ALL AGES

    IN OR OUT OF WORK AND POOR PENSIONERS

    Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) are

    running over 122 MP candidates and rising

    and are ex Labour who either left or were sacked for going against anti austerity cuts.

    Mebyon Kernow of Cornwall

    is runnhing in all Cornwall voting areas,

    which all have very slim, single figure marjorities in those marginals.

    Class War

    with posters saying

    Double Dole and Pension

    Socialist party of Great Britain (Socialist GB)

    The Greens have their 1 MP in Brighton.

    But Brighton has 3 voting areas.

    Brighton Kemptown has a Socialist GB candidate.

    HOW TO RECOGNISE THE NEW PARTIES TO PUT YOUR PENCIL CROSS BY ON 7 MAY

    TO GET FOOD MONEY FOR THE KIDS, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR GRAN AND GRANDAD AS WELL AS YOURSELF?

    What logos could bring about a stable government and not the most severe hung parliament, with neither Tories nor Labour able to provide a majority government of 1 or 2 parties, are on my little website:

    http://www.anastasia-england.me.uk

    VOTE FOR FOOD money AND NOT LIB DEM COLLABORATORS TO TORY STARVATION POLICIES

    And who is the person in cloud cuckoo land who think the Lib Dems are not the GONE PARTY.

    The last by election in Rochester and Strood (which has a TUSC candidate DAN BURN on 7 May )

    The Lib Dems came behind The Greens with not even 400 votes. Not only did they lose their deposit but this was the worst performance of a party in government in a by-election for generations

    Vote TUSC in Strood and Rochester, which Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister Clegg called that voting area Stroud.

  5. treborc1

    This is old and was brought out in 2006 at the elections labour said it wanted a coalition the Tories wanted what it called a rainbow coalition and the fact is the Liberals wanted a coalition with labour Plaid got it.

    Now Plaid have stated they would not say no to having a coalition with labour in London so I’ve decided not to join them with.

    Plaid will not need a coalition with the Tories in Wales it will have the same deal with labour.

  6. treborc1

    The deal has been done for months, but this will not stop coalition this is a cross boarder agreement for devolution, parties can still go into coalitions with whom ever they like.

    But Plaid and Tory I take it in Wales it’s been tried once before , the Tories wanted a coalition of plaid and Liberals to defeat labour in Wales it failed.

  7. ThomasEPalmer

    ….All time hit the leftfootforward Find Here

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