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Supporting devolution 'was wrong" says Ann Clwyd

Ann Clwyd has been MP for the Cynon Valley since 1984 Credit: PA

Cynon Valley MP Ann Clwyd, who campaigned for a Welsh Assembly in both the 1979 and 1997 referendums, has told tonight's Sharp End why she now thinks devolution was wrong. She's interviewed about her memoirs by ITV Cymru Wales Political Editor Adrian Masters. He asks her about an account in her book of a conversation with the former Labour minister Denzil Davies, who never supported devolution. Ann Clwyd reveals that she told him that he'd been right and she'd been wrong.

I would have preferred after all this time to be able to speak positively but you know, devolution was not meant to be about a worse service in Wales than in the rest of the country. Devolution was not meant to be about that.

– Ann Clwyd MP
  • Sharp End is on ITV Cymru Wales at 11:15pm tonight
  • Rebel with a Cause, by Ann Clwyd, is published by Biteback tomorrow, £25.

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Labour insists Ann Clwyd will face selection vote

Cynon Valley MP Ann Clwyd is refusing to comment on a decision by the Labour party to press ahead with a selection process in her constituency despite her change of mind about standing down.

The move has been interpreted by some as an attempt to block Ms Clwyd from restanding because of her high-profile criticism of the way NHS complaints are dealt with. But party sources say it's a routine procedure triggered by her previous decision to quit.

Party activists in the Cynon Valley had earlier refused to take part in the selection process because of the requirement to use an all-women shortlist. Senior figures said they had a good record of choosing female politicians unlike other constituencies which were still allowed open selections.

The party's National Executive Committee will decide whether or not to uphold or reverse the decision when it meets tomorrow (Tuesday.)

But a Welsh Labour spokesman says the selection process will go ahead in the Cynon Valley.

Under established procedures a full selection takes place where a sitting MP announces their intention to stand down. The selection will begin later this month.

– Welsh Labour spokesperson

Ann Clwyd: People shouldn't fear raising NHS problems

Ann Clwyd says there is a fear of speaking out when things go wrong in the Welsh NHS.

Speaking to an Assembly Committee, the Cynon Valley MP who reviewed the complaints system for the English NHS, says staff, patients and their families should feel free to complain without the fear of consequences.

Ann Clwyd to give evidence on Welsh hospital care

Ann Clwyd carried out a review of the NHS in England for the UK Government Credit: PA

Labour MP Ann Clwyd is to give evidence the Assembly health committee today, as part of a wider review of patients' complaints about Welsh hospitals.

The Cynon Valley MP complained about the conditions her late husband endured before he died at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

The decision was later overturned.

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Shadow Minister welcomes Ann Clwyd decision

The decision to invite Ann Clwyd MP to give evidence to the Assembly health committee has been welcomed by the Shadow Health Minister. The move had previously been blocked by Labour AMs although Ms Clwyd is Labour MP for the Cynon Valley.

Inviting Ann Clwyd to give evidence to this committee is a victory for common sense. Ann’s extensive work into standards of care within the Welsh NHS is significant and her views and conclusions must be treated with the utmost respect.

Previous attempts – by Labour - to block her evidence were hugely unwelcome. I sincerely hope that Ann will accept this invitation and look forward to hearing her evidence.

– Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar AM

The decision was taken at a private meeting of the health committee this morning. Plaid Cymru's health spokesperson, Elin Jones, made her third attempt to get the committee to agree to the invitation.

ITV News understands that on this occasion she warned that if there was no agreement she would take the issue to a full session of the Assembly, forcing a debate and a vote on instructing the committee to issue the invitation.

I’m pleased that Ann Clwyd will now be invited to give evidence to the Health Committee. Ann Clwyd has received valuable evidence about standards of care from many Welsh patients, including some from my own constituency, and it is right that she be invited in front of the committee to share these findings.

The views that have been collated by her could be extremely beneficial to our work in scrutinising the Welsh Government’s management of the NHS in Wales, and would give us important information from a patient’s perspective. I am glad that the Assembly Health Committee will hear these important contributions.

– Plaid Cymru Health Spokesperson Elin Jones AM

Decision to invite Ann Clwyd welcomed

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have welcomed today's decision to ask Ann Clwyd to give evidence to the Assembly health committee. Two previous attempts to invite her had been blocked by Labour AMs.

The Cynon Valley MP received hundreds of letters about poor treatment in Welsh hospitals during her review of conditions in the English NHS.

She was invited to carry out the review in England after she complained about how her late husband was treated before his death at the University Hospital in Cardiff.

It is absolutely right that Ann Clwyd MP is to be invited to give evidence to the Assembly’s Health Committee. While she may have conducted a review into the English NHS, she still received a large amount of information from Welsh patients.

It’s astonishing that Labour members continuously tried to block Ann Clwyd from giving evidence. The fact that she is an MP is completely irrelevant. The truth is they are afraid they won’t like what she has to say. Ann’s voice deserves to be heard

– Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams AM
  1. Nick Powell

Ann Clwyd 'invited' to Assembly health committee

Plaid Cymru sources say the Assembly health committee has finally agreed to invite Ann Clwyd MP to give evidence about the treatment of patients in Welsh hospitals. The Cynon Valley MP complained about the conditions endured by her late husband before he died at the University Hospital in Cardiff.

She subsequently carried out a review of hospitals in England for the UK Government but previous attempts by opposition parties to invite Ms Clwyd to give evidence in Cardiff Bay were blocked by Labour AMs. They argued it was constitutionally inappropriate to invite a backbench MP from Westminster.

It's understood that today a proposal from Plaid Cymru's health spokesperson, Elin Jones, that Ann Clwyd is asked to evidence as part of a wider review of patients' complaints on July 10, was accepted at a private meeting of the committee.

Labour criticises 'manufactured' row over Clwyd invite

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,

Ann Clwyd is in contact with the First Minister and the Health Minister and has provided them with the information she has to hand. As Ann herself has stated, most of the information she has collated relates to England and the info relating to Wales is anonymised and absent of detail. Ann Clwyd was asked by the Prime Minister to look at NHS complaints in England – her remit did not extend to Wales.

Opposition members are fully aware that it would be constitutionally inappropriate for the Health Committee to interview backbench MPs on their views around devolved matters - just as we wouldn’t expect backbench AMs to be giving evidence to Select Committees in Parliament. Rather than trying to manufacture rows in this way, the opposition focus should be on using the committee’s time to make sure the NHS is delivering the best possible care for the whole of Wales.

– Leighton Andrews AM, Labour
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