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Government "showing signs of Blairism" in media strategy - Randerson

June 19, 2009 1:16 PM

Welsh Lib Dem Shadow Economy Minister, Jenny Randerson AM has accused the Assembly Government of developing a Tony Blair style of media management after the First Minister made a crucial announcement on the role of Chief Scientific Advisor through a press release. This is the latest development in a worrying trend from the Labour-Plaid government which some have claimed shows contempt for the National Assembly as an institution. Despite repeated questions raised in plenary and pleas for a statement on the Government's plans, the First Minister announced the creation of the post in a press release on Tuesday lunchtime, without using that afternoon's session to make a statement to AMs. Jenny Randerson said: "The size of the Government majority is clearly leading Labour and Plaid down a Blairite path where important announcements are made to the media instead of to the democratically elected Assembly. "Myself and other politicians of all parties have been repeatedly pushing for a statement on the role of Chief Scientific Advisor, and were repeatedly told to wait and see. We did that and then the First Minister slipped out the announcement in a press release, without even issuing a written statement. "After the debacle over the timing of the announcement on the introduction of Top-up fees when the press were told the statement was taking place before the Presiding Officer was asked if it was OK to do so, this Government are clearly increasing their use of the dark arts. "Plenary finished at 5pm on Tuesday so there was plenty of time for the First Minister to make this statement to the chamber. Rhodri and his gang clearly have more in common with Tony Blair than they care to admit."