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Political battle resumes in Wales

"hypocrite' says Davies

“hypocrite’ says Davies

Opening shots in Assembly election campaign

The Assembly election is not until next May yet the political parties are behaving as if it was imminent.

Yesterday it was the Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies challenging Plaid Cymru to work with the Welsh Conservatives to unseat Labour from government in Wales.

Following the poor general election results for Labour, the Conservative’s feel that Labour will not succeed in getting a majority of seats in the Assembly come next May.

Unless the Opposition parties get their act together, the political landscape of Wales will remain the same with Labour still running the country, all be it with an even smaller minority government.

In the robust language that is associated with the leader of the Opposition, Davies accuses Leanne Wood of “hypocrisy.”

Why “hypocrisy?” Well, according to the Tories, Leanne Wood claims she wants to kick out Labour but has ruled out working with them to achieve that very aim.

In response Plaid’s Steffan Lewis said no party wished to work with Conservatives, as they want to “run down” the NHS and cut services.

Labour worries

So there you have it, very little chance of a rainbow coalition and Carwyn Jones not likely to lose his job in the near future.

But there are concerns in Welsh Labour ranks on how a Corbyn victory might impact on the Assembly election results.

Chris Evans the Islwyn MP who is backing Kendall is worried that a Corbyn victory might make it more difficult to hold on to the marginal seats of Cardiff North and Gower.

David Rees the Aberavon Assembly Member has a different concern. He worries less with Mr Corbyn’s policies but more with perceived splits in the party. He sees Corbyn’s views not being to distant from the socialist tradition in Wales, but warned: “If people start fighting as a consequence that will harm our chances.”

But Carwyn Jones has made it clear that he will be leading the campaign in Wales on a Welsh Labour manifesto and not whoever leads the Labour party in London.

Corbyn and Welsh Labour

Should Corbyn win the Labour leadership, and it looks increasingly likely that he will, it may have interesting implications for Welsh politics.

Welsh Labour is likely to press for a Federal structure for the Labour party.

Carwyn Jones has been eager for such a structure sometime but has been held back by the more unionist wing in the Welsh party. A Corbyn victory will likely strengthen Jones’s hand.

Many of the most trenchant Unionists amongst Welsh MPs are impeccably opposed to a Corbyn led Labour Party and might throw their hand in with Jones’s ambition for the Welsh party to distance themselves from Corbyn in Westminster.

Where does Plaid go?

But it’s not only Labour that would have to reflect on a Corbyn victory but Plaid Cymru. As a party they’ve always positioned themselves as left of Labour. They could hardly push themselves to the left of a Corbyn Labour party.

So how will they respond? Will they try to re-position the party in the centre ground of Welsh politics with a move to the right? It’s unlikely that this will happen whilst Leanne Wood is leader but certainly the pressure will be on for such a move.

Certainly politics in Wales looks like getting interesting in the near future, all thanks to Mr Corbyn.


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