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Welsh Labour has responded to opposition criticism following a decision by Labour members of the Assembly's Health Committee to vote against inviting Ann Clwyd to give evidence. Labour committee member Leighton Andrews AM said,
Labour AMs have been criticised for blocking a committee's invitation to a Labour MP. Plaid Cymru's Elin Jones wanted the Health Committee to ask Ann Clwyd to give evidence on correspondence she's received from patients and their families in Wales setting out concerns about care in Welsh hospitals.
However, the move was blocked by Labour members of the Committee. Elin Jones said
Welsh Labour is about to issue a statement on the matter. However Plaid's criticism was echoed by Conservative and Liberal Democrat members of the committee:
The First Minister's direct criticism of Ann Clwyd is as extraordinary as her response. Two senior Welsh Labour politicians are now publicly at odds over something important to the party (the NHS) and extremely sensitive (a painful personal experience of the NHS.)
Both reasons are why Labour politicians have been treading carefully with regard to the Cynon Valley MP's comments. That's changed. Welsh ministers are fighting back against sustained Westminster criticism and they see Ann Clwyd's campaign as part of the attack to be countered.
The risk for the Welsh Government is that the public may see attacks from Jeremy Hunt and David Cameron as clearly political, but in Ann Clwyd many see someone who's speaking up for patients after a painful experience. If that's the case, the First Minister's criticism could look merely personal.
Cynon Valley MP Ann Clwyd has hit back following a public rebuke by the First Minister of her criticism of care in the Welsh NHS. The Labour MP, who's attending the Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Switzerland has issued this statement.
The Welsh Conservative Leader says the First Minister should hold talks with NHS campaigner Ann Clwyd rather than criticising her. Carwyn Jones dismissed the call from Andrew RT Davies because he said Ms Clwyd had produced 'no evidence' to support her concerns.
The First Minister says fellow Labour politician Ann Clwyd 'has produced no evidence and no facts' to back concerns that she's repeatedly raised about the Welsh NHS. Carwyn Jones' criticism came during the Assembly's weekly First Minister's Questions.
He'd been challenged by the Opposition Leader Andrew RT Davies to respond to Ann Clwyd's concerns.