Political Editor Adrian Masters speaks to the party leaders during this year's party conferences
Presented by our Political Editor Adrian Masters, Sharp End brings you reports, interviews and analysis every Thursday
Adrian Masters talks to political leaders, public figures and extraordinary people in this series of one-to-one interviews.
Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans has said that the latest opinion poll showing a narrow majority of Welsh voters wanting Britain to leave the European Union has to be take seriously.
The poll also found that she could find herself in a close fight with UKIP and Labour to hold her seat in next years European elections. The pictures are from the European Parliament.
Despite the latest opinion poll showing that Welsh voters would narrowly back Britain leaving the European Union, Labour MEP Derek Vaughan has said that he believes Wales remains pro-European.
He was cautious about another poll finding that he will be joined by at least one Labour colleague from Wales after next year's European election, with the party also having a chance of winning a third seat in a close contest with Plaid Cymru and UKIP.
Mr Vaughan is currently Labour's only Welsh MEP. Plaid Cymru and UKIP also each have one seat, as do the Conservatives, who seem set to hold their seat. The pictures are from the European Parliament.
The Welsh Government need full control of the Wales and Borders rail franchise.
That's the verdict of an assembly report, which claims the new contract, which is due to start in 2018, is a major opportunity to iron out the capacity and quality problems in the current service.
Owain Phillips reports.
The Welsh Government's top legal officer has asked the Supreme Court to decide whether or not the Assembly has the power to introduce a law to make businesses or insurers pay the costs of treating asbestos patients.
The Counsel General, Theodore Huckle, has referred the bill after representatives of the insurance industry questioned the Assembly's power to legislate on the matter.
The Recovery of Medical Costs for Asbestos Diseases (Wales) Bill was introduced into theNational Assembly for Wales by Mick Antoniw AM on 3 December 2012. The Bill wassubsequently passed by the Assembly on 20 November 2013.
Under section 112 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 I am able to refer the question as to whether any provisions of the Bill would be within the Assembly’s legislative competence to the Supreme Court for decision during the 4 week intimation period. This period runs from the date on which the Bill was approved and expires on 18 December 2013.
– Theodore Huckle QC, Counsel General for Wales
I am aware that bodies representing the insurance industry have consistently disputed the Assembly’s competence to pass this Bill. I am of the view that this Bill is within the competence of this Assembly. I consider, however, it is appropriate in this case to have the issue of the competence of this Bill clearly resolved before the Bill comes into force. I have therefore decided to make a reference to the Supreme Court to ensure this matter is put beyond doubt.
It's the first time the Counsel General has taken this step although the two previous bills have been referred by the UK Attorney General. The Supreme Court cleared one concerning local government bye-laws and will rule on another to protect the wages of agricultural workers in February 2014
The Welsh Political Awards ended with the annual lifetime achievement, which this year went to Lord Elystan Morgan. His political career began in the 1950s when he was a leading figure in Plaid Cymru, standing for Westminster as the candidate in Wrexham and later in Merionnydd.
Elystan Morgan switched to the Labour party to contest his native Ceredigion, then known as Cardiganshire. He became the only Labour MP ever to represent the seat at Westminster, holding it from 1966 to 1974. He is now a cross-bencher in the House of Lords,
He says of his two parties that he remains "no less a nationalist and no less a socialist". He led the 1979 "yes" campaign, when devolution was defeated in a referendum that saw many in Labour campaign for "no" vote. He became a peer in the 1980s but took a break from politics to serve as a judge.
I have been on leave of absence from this House for 19 years, discharging a public duty. I feel like Rip van Winkle, who went hunting in the woods, fell asleep and came back to his village many decades later to find that the whole world had changed.
Having had the melancholy experience of leading the yes campaign in 1979, I think that one should be very wary of polls. There is a great saying, "Place not your trust in princes". I think that we could say, side by side with that, "Place not your trust in opinion polls".
Six months before that referendum was held on 1 March 1979, the yes campaign was a few points ahead, but it descended rapidly to defeat from that point onwards. I doubt very much that the same would ever happen again.
I do not accept that there is anything fundamentally wrong or inconsistent with contemplating that the Welsh people should some day enjoy legislative powers in their Assembly. To say otherwise would be to believe that there should be a circle of steel, as it were, around the prospects of the Welsh people. Who would wish to place such a circle around any other nation?
– Lord Elystan-Morgan, speaking on his return to the House of Lordsin 2006
It would be utterly wrong to consider that there is something so fundamentally strange and flawed in the character of the Welsh nation that it should, for all time, be denied this possibility.
Those who belong to progressive politics may well remind themselves of the words of Keir Hardie, who, a century or so ago, as a Welsh Member of Parliament—he was the Member for Merthyr Tydfil at the time—said, "I sometimes wonder what it is that makes men able to oppose home rule for the land of their birth".
As well as Ann Clwyd being named Politician of the Year, there were five other winners at tonight's Welsh Political Awards.
- AM of the Year: Peter Black. He was the first backbencher to pilot an Act of the Assembly into law, the Mobile Homes (Wales) Act.
- MP of the Year: Guto Bebb. He's used parliamentary pressure, with debates in a crowded Commons to demand redress from banks that mistreat small businesses.
- Campaigner of the Year: Rhodri Glyn Thomas. He led the opposition to cuts in council tax benefit. It forced the Welsh Government to recall the Assembly from its Christmas recess before ministers finally climbed down in the new year.
- Member to Watch: Suzy Davies. An AM in her first Assembly, she's a rising star of the Conservative group and has been given the job of writing her party's next election manifesto.
- Local Politician of the Year: Cllr David Phillips. The leader of Swansea council has made tackling poverty a priority.
Labour MP Ann Clwyd won top prize -Politician of the Year- at tonight's Welsh Political Awards. The Cynon Valley MP's award was for demanding better treatment of hospital patients. It began when she complained that her own husband was neglected before his death at the Heath Hospital in Cardiff.
The Prime Minister asked her to investigate hospital conditions in England and she had=s made it clear that her finding apply equally to Wales. A key finding was that exceptionally high death rates at some hospitals are a strong indication that patients are not properly looked after.
Assembly Members have observed a minute's silence in the Senedd chamber in honour of Nelson Mandela. Prior to that, party leaders including the First Minister, paid tribute to the late South African leader.