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The Education Minister should consider his position in the cabinet because of his involvement in a campaign on A&E services in South Wales, according to the leader of the Opposition. But Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies stopped short of saying that Leighton Andrews SHOULD resign.
His comments follow the revelation that Labour politicians fighting to protect services at the Royal Glamorgan hospital in Llantrisant had been told not to use the party's name in the campaign. As Rhondda AM, Leighton Andrews, is the most prominent of those involved in the campaign.
The First Minister insists that Mr Andrews has not overstepped the mark in his involvement but Andrew RT Davies says the Education Minister should consider whether or not he can continue to battle for his constituents' interests whilst remaining in the cabinet.
The Welsh Conservatives are describing Carwyn Jones' comments about a campaign group in support of A&E services at Llantrisant's Royal Glamorgan hospital as a 'slap-down' to Labour politicians involved. The party's Shadow Health Minister said:
Labour leaders did not 'condone' the use of the party's name in a campaign against changes to A&E services in South Wales, according to Carwyn Jones. The First Minister was responding to questions about the role of the Education Minister in campaign supporting Llantrisant's Royal Glamorgan hospital.
He said he'd discussed what sort of campaigning was appropriate with Leighton Andrews who he said hadn't stepped beyond 'tramlines' within which a minister was expected to operate. But he was more critical about the original name of the campaign group 'Labour4RoyalGlam' which has since been changed.
A Labour AM involved in the campaign last week said the change stemmed from 'people on the ground' wanting it to be cross-party. But it seems the pressure came from the Labour leadership. Here's what Carwyn Jones said when asked if he'd been comfortable with the earlier use of the party's name:.
Pontypridd AM Mick Antoniw has hit back at the Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies who's questioned why the campaign name 'Labour4RoyalGlam' was registered online four days before an official announcement.
As for the decision to close facebook and twitter pages for the 'Labour4RoyalGlam' campaign, Mr Antoniw said:
The Welsh Conservatives say they've discovered that a Labour campaign name to fight controversial changes to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital was registered online four days before the announcement was made.
They've found an online record of the domain name 'LABOUR4ROYALGLAM' being registered on the 19th May. A public consultation on proposals for A and E services in South Wales was announced on 22nd May. They say the campaign's Facebook and Twitter pages have also been changed to 'Campaign4RoyalGlam'
Opposition leader Andrew RT Davies has accused Labour politicians involved in the campaign of 'hypocrisy' and says the online discoveries raise 'serious questions' about both the consultation and Labour's campaigning role.
Responding to the news that Labour politicians including one Welsh Government minister have set up a campaign to protect accident and emergency services at Royal Glamorgan hospital in Llantrisant, Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said:
Plaid Cymru's leader Leanne Wood's response to proposals for the future of hospital services in South Wales:
And commenting specifically on proposals affecting the Royal Glamorgan hospital in Llantrisant, she said:
Latest ITV News reports
A consultation has been launched on the future of some major health services in south and south-east Wales.
Areas including A&E care, children's services, and maternity and neonatal care could be affected. A consultation has been launched.