Following today's meeting between the Welsh and UK Governments in London, Carwyn Jones says he's willing 'to meet some of the incidental costs' of rail electrification in the South Wales Valleys.
But in a sign that this dispute is far from over, he told Political Editor Adrian Masters that 'we're not paying for the whole thing, there's no chance of that.'
The First Minister has challenged the UK Government to publish documents it says prove the Welsh Government agreed to pay the costs of rail electrification in the South Wales Valleys.
Carwyn Jones was speaking to Political Editor Adrian Masters following a meeting in London of the Joint Ministerial Committee which brings together leaders of the devolved nations, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
Both sides in the rail electrification costs row remain polarised, if you'll forgive the pun, after today's Joint Ministerial Council meeting. A Whitehall source said it seemed the First Minister had 'picked a fight to hide his embarrassment' about an agreement, the existence of which he disputes.
For his part Carwyn Jones has challenged the UK Government to produce any document which would prove a deal. Until now the correspondence has only been semi-leaked but I understand there are moves to try to publish it.
The First Minister says he'll consider paying for some 'incidental costs' but not the full costs. He also told Nick Clegg that one solution would be to devolve responsibility - and the funding - for rail to Wales immediately. Neither side show any signs of backing down.
Political Editor Adrian Masters has discussed the row over rail electrification for the Valley Lines with First Minister Carwyn Jones in London today.
First Minister tells me UK Govt reps were 'all over the shop' on rail electrification costs; reiterates Welsh Govt did not agree to pay.
First Minister tells me he wants to find a way forward; will consider some 'incidental' funding re Valley Lines but not whole cost.
First Minister tells me he told Deputy PM the solution to electrification dispute would be to devolve railways and funding immediately.
Baroness Randerson is representing the Wales Office at today’s JMC meeting. She has issued the following statement:
2/4 ‘The UK Govt’s position on its funding contribution has not changed since the agreement was reached with the Welsh Govt in July 2012
3/4 ‘The Welsh Govt’s own business case for the electrification of the Valley Lines makes clear its intent to fund and manage the project.'
4/4 and again ‘The UK Government’s position has not changed.'
The First Minister is expected to raise the dispute over funding for rail electrification in the South Wales Valleys at a meeting in London. Carwyn Jones will attend a session of the Joint Ministerial Committee which brings together the UK Government with leaders of devolved governments.
These meetings, which are chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, take place regularly and usually cover a wide range of topics that are causing tension between the governments.
I'd be amazed if Carwyn Jones didn't seize the opportunity to return to the disagreement which has soured relations between ministers in Cardiff and London more than any other previous dispute.
On the day the Chancellor has insisted that the Welsh Government DID agree to share funding of rail electrification in the South Wales Valleys, opposition parties have kept up the pressure. Catch up with the background to this increasingly bitter row by clicking here.
Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said Carwyn Jones' government should be 'eating humble pie.' Plaid Cymru's Simon Thomas feared that if the costs end up being met through increased ticket prices the 'Valleys Metro idea is out of the window.'
But the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams found cause for optimism in what she said was 'the more conciliatory tone' taken by the transport minister Edwina Hart. Ms Williams said she's hopeful a way forward can be found and said that would be
– Kirsty Williams AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats
best achieved by going back and working with the UK Government rather than having a bloody great row between the First Minister and Prime Minister.
The First Minister has repeated his insistence that the UK Government should pay for the electrification of the South Wales Valleys Lines. Opponents and ministers in London say there was an agreement on sharing the costs.
But during First Minister's Questions in the Senedd, Carwyn Jones said comments by senior UK Government figures amounted to promises to pay the full bill.
The Economy Minister will face questions on the row over funding rail electrification in the South Wales Valleys. It follows a dispute between the Welsh and UK Governments over who should pay for the project.
Presiding Officer Rosemary Butler has allowed an Urgent Question from the Conservative AM Byron Davies to be discussed in the Assembly chamber this afternoon.