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Devolution dilemma for Labour

The pledge of more devolution to Scotland by the main Westminster party leaders is credited with ensuring the defeat of independence in Thursday's referendum. Any doubt that it was made in haste to save the United Kingdom from break-up has been dispelled by events since the result was declared.

Most attention so far has been on the demand from many English Conservative MPs for what they see as England's poor treatment in the present devolution settlement to be put right in tandem with more powers for Scotland, That led the former Labour Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, to insist yesterday that the promises to the Scots must be delivered without delay.

His successor as Labour's leader, Ed Miliband, faces having his party conference, which opens in Manchester today, overshadowed by arguments about the constitution. He wants to take the opportunity to project himself and his party as understanding voters' economic woes and being ready to tackle them if Labour wins the Westminster election next May.

The last few months have been about keeping our country together. The next eight months are about how we change our country together. And we know that yearning for change is there right across our country. Constitutional change matters, but we know that something else matters even more: this country doesn't work for most working people and we, the Labour Party, are going to change it.

– Labour Leader Ed Miliband MP

It's a theme that was taken up by the Shadow Welsh Secretary, Owen Smith, as soon as the referendum was won. Although he welcomed what he saw as recognition that it was better to stick together, he claimed as well that the Scots had sent a message of rejection to the coalition government in Westminster.

The result also shows that the people of Scotland are sick to the back teeth of the Tories. They want a government that both understands Scotland and gets that we need far more equal distribution of wealth and opportunity across Britain. That is a feeling that many people in Wales share and it will be up to a Labour government to deliver on their expectations. That is what Labour intend to deliver, when we win back power next May.

– Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith MP

Mr Smith has said that there must be more devolution for Wales but he has not yet endorsed the call from the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, for Wales to be offered everything that Scotland gets, leaving the Welsh Government to decide what to accept and what to reject.

The danger for Welsh Labour in particular is that such a debate could be a distraction at best and runs the risk of re-opening old divisions about devolution at a time when the party needs to be united around its core economic message in the run-up to May's election.

FT: Derby 2 - 2 Cardiff

Cardiff caretaker bosses Danny Gabbidon and Scott Young were denied a dream start by a late goal from Derby midfielder Craig Bryson in an entertaining game at the iPro Stadium.

Aaron Gunnarsson scored the opening goal of the game. Credit: EMPICS Sport/EMPICS Sport

Cardiff took a 2-0 lead early in the second half - Aaron Gunnarsson and Peter Whittingham scoring in quick succession.

However Liverpool loanee Jordan Ibe pulled a goal back for the home side before Bryson struck 6 minutes from time.

Elsewhere in the Football League Newport held Shrewsbury to a goalless draw in League 2.


FT: Swansea 0 - 1 Southampton

Swansea suffered their second league defeat of the season - Garry Monk's men going down 1-0 to Southampton at the Liberty Stadium.

Federico Fernandez, who made his first Premier League start for Swansea, fights for the ball. Credit: PA Wire/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Saints midfielder Vincent Wanyama scored the only goal of the game 10 minutes from time.

The Swans ended the game with 10 men - Ivorian striker Wilfried Bony sent off for a second bookable offence just before half time.

HT: Derby 0 - 0 Cardiff

It's stalemate between Derby and Cardiff at the half time break, in the first game since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left the Bluebirds.

The home side came the closest to scoring and have had the majority of the possession though - interim bosses Danny Gabbidon and Scott Young owing much to 'keeper David Marshall in the Cardiff net.

Elsewhere in the Football League, it's also 0-0 between Shrewsbury and Newport.

HT: Swansea 0 - 0 Southampton

Swansea go into the half time break drawing 0-0 with Southampton, but are a man down following the dismissal of striker Wilfried Bony.

Routledge almost broke the deadlock, but his effort came back off the bar. Credit: PA Wire

The Ivorian was dismissed after receiving his second yellow card just before half time.

Swansea did come the closest to scoring though - midfielder Wayne Routledge seeing his effort come off the bar.


Delyn AM to stand down after Assembly Elections

The AM for Delyn has announced she is to stand down at the next National Assembly Elections after 11 years in the role.

Sandy Meweis has been AM for Delyn since 2003. Credit: ITV Wales News

Sandy Mewies has been the Welsh Labour and Co-operative AM for the Constituency since 2003. She informed her party of her decision on Friday night.

"By the time of the next Assembly elections in May 2016 I will have been working for 50 years , almost 30 of those in politics, so It will be an appropriate time for me to stand down and look forward to new challenges. I have been proud to be the member for Delyn and would like to thank Constituents , the Labour and Co Operative Parties, Unite and my staff for all their support."

– Sandy Mewies, Delyn AM

"I'd like to thank Sandy for her loyalty and hard work for both her constituency and the Labour party. I wish her the very best for the future."

– Carwyn Jones, First Minister

Squadron disbandment parade taking place in Swansea

A disbandment parade is taking place in Swansea today to mark the end of the 108 (Welsh) Field Squadron, Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia).

The group became a Royal Engineer unit in 1896. Credit: ITV Wales News

The squadron is being disbanded as part of the army's response to the Government's Strategic Defence and Security Review.

The Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) is the senior Reserve Regiment of the British Army and has been loyal to the crown since 1539.

It was originally an Infantry Militia charged with home defence.

The militia is the only unit with two "Royals" in its title. Credit: ITV Wales News
It's the only Royal Engineer unit whose members wear the Prince of Wales Division cap-badge. Credit: ITV Wales News

Woman airlifted to hospital after cliff fall

A woman as been airlifted to hospital following a fall close to the summit of the Great Orme at Llandudno.

The incident was dealt with by members of the Ogwen Valley mountain rescue team and local coastguards.

The sixty one-year-old injured her shoulder in the fall and was winched aboard an RAF helicopter from Valley, Anglesey before being flown to Ysbyty Gwynedd at Bangor.

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