2 statements co-authored by the First Minister in response to the All-Wales convention report on power transfer from Westminster…..The first, issued jointly with Secretary of State Peter Hain and chair of Welsh Labour Gary Owen, reads thus:
“1. We welcome the detailed report by the All Wales Convention and reaffirm Welsh Labour’s commitment to primary legislative powers for the Welsh Assembly (under Part 4 of the 2006 Act), and to campaign for these in a succsessful referendum.
2. Because a ‘No’ vote in a referendum could set back devolution for several decades, triggering the referendum process needs to be based on a firm prospect that public opinion is ready to respond positively in the referendum.
3. Our internal policy process has already begun: Welsh Labour’s Welsh Joint Policy Committee has met, prioritised the need to campaign for a General Election victory, and agreed to start considering the All Wales Convention report in detail as a prelude to stepping-up wider Party consultation with AMs and MPs, councillors, trade unionists and members as soon as the General Election is over.”
That was in the morning – the second, issued jointly last night with Ieuan Wyn Jones, Plaid’s Deputy First Minister, says this:
“The Assembly Government once again reaffirms its commitment to the One Wales agreement in relation to a referendum on Part Four powers.
Both parties recognise the difficulties which would be created for a purposeful and united ‘Yes’ campaign, if that were attempted to be held during the run up to a General Election.
Both recognise that a successful ‘Yes’ campaign will rest on mobilising support from all political Parties in Wales, and from those who have no political affiliation.
Otherwise, all options for the timing of a referendum remain open. Nothing has been ruled in or ruled out, including, if it proved practical, a referendum in the autumn.”
Given a May General Election and a wider Party consultation it looks like Rhodri speaks with two tongues. Peter Hain is speaking to the assembly at 2.30 to (as we’d say pre Gorbachev) resolve the contradiction….
Welsh Nationalist. Rugby Fan. Know a bit about History and Railways…