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Labour must not be allowed to stall referendum

November 24, 2009 4:01 PM

Commenting on Welsh Labour's Joint Statement in the Response to the All WalesConvention

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats said: "Labour today outlined their desire to stall a decision on a referendum until after the general election, making the Autumn referendum all other parties desire, impossible to deliver. Rhodri Morgan and Peter Hain have dealt a body blow to devolution in Wales, seeking to take control of a process all other parties wish to see move forward in the early new year."

"Plaid Cymru, who joined with Labour on the promise of a referendum in 2011, must now be furious. I call on Plaid Cymru to challenge Labour's position for the sake of devolution in Wales. This is one issue Plaid Cymru cannot choose to roll over and prop up their coalition partners . It is also critical that whoever replaces Rhodri Morgan as Leader of Welsh Labour is able to stand up to Peter Hain and reject the statement Welsh Labour have issued today."

Notes.

PRESS RELEASEDATGANIAD I'R WASG

For immediate use12.00 midday Tuesday 24th November

JOINT STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO ALL WALES CONVENTION REPORT

GARRY OWEN, Chair Welsh LabourRHODRI MORGAN AM, First MinisterPETER HAIN MP, Secretary of State for Wales

1. We welcome the detailed report by the All Wales Convention andreaffirm Welsh Labour's commitment to primary legislative powers for theWelsh Assembly (under Part 4 of the 2006 Act), and to campaign for thesein a succsessful referendum.

2. Because a 'No' vote in a referendum could set back devolution forseveral decades, triggering the referendum process needs to be based ona firm prospect that public opinion is ready to respond positively inthe referendum.

3. Our internal policy process has already begun: Welsh Labour's WelshJoint Policy Committee has met, prioritised the need to campaign for aGeneral Election victory, and agreed to start considering the All WalesConvention report in detail as a prelude to stepping-up wider Partyconsultation with AMs and MPs, councillors, trade unionists and membersas soon as the General Election is over. EndsFor more information please call Martin Eaglestone (Welsh PolicyOfficer) 02920 877708

Notes

1. "The Welsh Assembly Government set up the All Wales Convention toassess public views on the primary law making powers which the NationalAssembly for Wales should enjoy". The report of the All Wales Conventionwas published on the 18th November 2009.2. The report of the Convention stated "The judgement of the Conventionis that a 'yes' vote in a referendum is obtainable. However the,evidence collected underlines that there can be no certainty aboutthis".3. The Welsh Joint Policy Committee (WJPC) is a 21 member body that isresponsible, with the Wales Policy Forum, for overseeing policy matterswithin the competence of the National Assembly for Wales for submissionto the Annual Welsh Labour Conference. All sectors of Welsh Labour arerepresented on the WJPC including:

Chair of the Wales Policy Forum,3 x Vice-Chairs (one from each of the following: Welsh PLP, NALP andWLGA Labour Group),4 x CLP reps (elected by CLP reps to Welsh Policy Forum),4 x affiliated organisations reps (elected by affiliated organisationreps to Welsh Policy Forum),4 x Labour Assembly Government Ministers (First Minister + 3 others),2 x Wales Office Ministers (Secretary of State plus Minister),2 x Welsh Executive Committee representatives (elected by WEC),1 x NPF Wales rep (elected by representatives to the NPF).

The MEP is ex-officio member of the WJPC.